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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: The Five Dollar Marathon
By Allison Egley


“Looking at your application, Mr. Snozenbronen, we see that you haven’t yet completed your student teaching. However, as you know, we are willing to compromise on that, since you are working towards your education degree. It would be an ‘emergency certification.’ This would be a one-year assignment, then you’d be expected to return to finish your student teaching. We understand that it’s a bit backwards, but we are desperate.”

“I understand. And I believe I’m ready for the challenge,” Michael stated.

The interviewers went over some situation questions, and Michael thought he had answered well.

“Now, you do have some experience working with students in the classroom setting, correct?”

Michael thought quickly. His small private college wasn’t able to provide for classroom internships before student teaching, like most of the state schools. But he did work with other students on class projects in high school. And that was in a classroom setting.


“And this was at college?”

Michael did go to Christian Brother’s College High School. “Yes,” he replied, hoping his hesitation didn’t give him away.

“And have you been in charge of a class without the teacher in the room?”

Well, he wasn’t exactly in charge, but at times in high school, the teacher said to the class ‘You’re in charge,’ while she went to the restroom. Wasn’t that close enough? “Of course.”

“Well, Mr. Snozenbronen, we’ll be in touch very soon. School starts in a month, and new teacher training starts in two weeks.”


Michael couldn’t believe it. He had gotten the teaching job. The training hadn’t been much, mostly going over school policy. But he was ready. After all, how hard could it be? They were only kindergarteners.


Mr. Snozenbronen was trying to make his voice heard above the crying, laughing, and general chaos in the room. “If you’re putting your money for your school shirt on my desk, make sure your name is on it! I need everyone to sit down on the floor here.”

Mr. Snozenbronen felt a tug on his shirt. “Mr. Snozen... Snozel... Snot... Can I just call you Mr. S?”

Michael chuckled. “Yes, Brittany. You may call me Mr. S. Now what were you going to ask me?”

“I forget.”

“When you remember, tell me, okay?”


Mr. Snozenbronen gathered his students on the carpet for story time. “...And Papa bear said ‘Someone’s been eating my...’”

“Mr. S, Mr. S?”

He put the book down as he turned to the class. “Yes, Brittany?”

“I ‘member what I was going to ask you.”

“Go ahead.”

“I was gonna ask you if I could go potty. ‘cept I don’t have to go anymore.”

Brittany’s red cheeks told Michael everything he needed to know. “Why don’t you go down to the nurse’s office? I’m sure she can help you.” Michael shook his head. He should have known. It was the third time this week. Brittany knew the way to the nurse’s office better than the way to the bathroom. He’d learn one of these days... he hoped.

Finally, it was time for the students to go to gym, and Michael had some time to sit down. It was Friday, and the first week of school had felt like a month. Make that a year. He felt as though he had been hit by a train, and the next one was due to strike any second.

As he sorted through the things his students had put on his desk, he gasped. There on the top of the pile was a five dollar bill with “KATIE” scrawled across it in thick black crayon. “Now what would make her do that?” he though aloud. Then he remembered his instructions from earlier in the day. He let out a groan. I’ll have to be more careful in how I word things from now on.

His wife greeted him as he walked in the door later that night. “So, what did you teach the kids today?”

“How commit a federal crime by defacing government property.”

His wife looked at him, perplexed, until he explained the day’s events. “Honey, you know that saying about walking before you can crawl?”


“I think I just entered a marathon.”

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This article has been read 1063 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Wilber01/27/08
"After all, how hard could it be? They were only kindergarteners." Now there's some famous last words. ;-) Cute story.
Dee Yoder 01/28/08
Reminds me of a guy I knew in college who had to teach kindergartners for summer camp. He let them "spray paint" their projects. LOL! He couldn't figure out what went "wrong". Ha! Great story and very humorous, too.
Sally Hanan01/28/08
I liked how you had him stretch out the truth in a very grand fashion and then had to face the consequences of his lies. Too many people do this.
LauraLee Shaw01/28/08
Brittany is adorable. I enjoyed this piece very much.
Jan Ackerson 01/28/08
This is one of my favorites of yours, and I especially love his name. Lots of hilarious bits here.
Sara Harricharan 01/28/08
oh ho! I can see where that was going...as a former babysitter...well, let's just say that experience is the best thing ever when it comes there. LOL, you made this fun and easy to relate to. I think the italics messed up on the last part, but it was good just the same. My favorite piece was where a certain someone was trying to pronounce his last name...Mr.Snot...ROFL!
Great job! ^_^
Gerald Shuler 12/18/08
I'm not a teacher... and this is why.

Great warning for those who don't know the power of the five-year-old imagination. You used perfect kid talk.
Seema Bagai 12/19/08
I chuckled through this piece. Will have to share it with my colleagues.