Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Like a Fish Out of Water (10/24/13)
By Wilma Schlegel
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Maybe they were ‘sugared up’ and probably they had been talking about it at home. Regardless of the reason, it was all the teachers could get the pre-schoolers to do together at ‘All Saints Church Pre-school’, so they went with it. They started right in with ‘circle time’ discussion.
“J.B.” Miss Marissa asked, “What will you dress up as for Halloween?”
J.B., who had been talking about a ‘sawiss’costume with anyone who would listen, was suddenly quiet. He shyly picked up his right foot with his hands and inspected the instep of his shoe.
“Is your foot feeling alright?” Miss Marissa asked.
He looked up at her for the briefest of moments and said, “A sawiss”. A slow, shy smile could be seen breaking across his face though he was looking at his foot again.
“He means a dinosau,” his older brother Hennessey spoke up. “And I’m one too. I’m gonna be ‘Wex’.” He made a growling sound and extended his arms in front of him.
“You mean a Tyrannosaurus Rex?” Miss Greta asked.
“I’m going to be a black cat,” Jaynie said.
“And I’m going to be a snow princess with glittery snow on my dress,” Kayleigh said.
“And when it snows it will be time for ‘Kris-miss!” Clay exclaimed.
“Yes, Christmas is coming too, after Halloween and Thanksgiving," Miss Marissa interjected.
“I’m going to get presents!” Clay called out.
“Me too!” Caleb exclaimed.
“I’m going to get a monstaw twuck!” Hennessey called.
“Wait a minute. Weren’t we talking about Halloween?” Miss Marissa asked.
“Don’t worry about it. It is actually ‘All Hallow’s Eve’. Why not talk about something as hallowed as Christmas?” Miss Greta asked Miss Marissa
“Miss Greta, you are a smart lady! What a good idea!” Miss Marissa said. Then she asked the class, “What else happens at Christmas?
“I get presents!” Kayleigh said.
“But why do we have Christmas? Who do we celebrate?” Miss Greta asked.
“Yes, but somebody else. Who has a birthday at Christmas?” Miss Greta asked.
Clay’s hand went up and he couldn’t contain himself. He called right out. “I do! Mine’s next week!”
“Oh Clay, how nice! We’ll sing for you next week, but I’m talking about somebody that I bet all our parents have heard of.”
Miss Marissa caught Miss Greta’s eyes and she shook her head ‘no’.
Miss Greta gave Miss Marissa an almost imperceptible frown and continued. “When you go home today ask someone at home whose birthday it is at Christmas.”
“It’s not anybody in this room.” Miss Marissa added.
“My mom doesn’t know anybody that was born at Christmas,” Caleb said.
“I hope she does,” Miss Greta said.
“Does anybody here go to Sunday School?” Miss Marissa asked (she seemed a little nervous).
“I do, I go to pwe-school,” Hennessey answered.
“I go to Sunday School and we have birthdays there and we sing!” Jaynie spoke.
“I go and I eat gummy bears,” Clay said.
“I have gummy bears for ‘trick or treat’ and pumkins and jackals,” Caleb announced.
Miss Marissa and Miss Greta exchanged amused looks.
That’s how the class continued until the end of the day.
When the last child was picked up Marissa spoke to Greta. “That was a pretty deep subject you were trying to talk to the kids about.”
“Yes, but don’t you think they should know?”
“They’re kind of young,” Marissa insisted.
“They know about Santa Claus and Trick or Treat and Jack-o-lanterns,” Greta reminded her.
“Those are all ‘safe’ topics. I tried to stop you from pushing too hard to talk about Jesus. We don’t know if their parents would approve,” Marissa explained.
Greta opened her mouth to speak, but she didn’t know where to start. So much was not right about things that had been said. How about the conversation they’d had about whose birthday it is at Christmas when Marissa had said , ‘it’s not anybody in this room’?
Was this pre-school not housed in a Christian Church? Then why did Greta suddenly feel like a ‘fish out of water’? If things continued like this than some of these children might never know the difference between ‘Kris-miss’ and ‘Christmas’.
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