This year, I taught my very first Sunday school class. I had a class of third graders, averaging about 12-15 kids per week. Most of the roster were boys, though the girls in the class were outspoken enough to even out the demographics. Each of them was challenging, and clever, and surprising.
Today was the final Sunday with this class before they are promoted to fourth grade classes next week. My co-teacher taught the final lesson, so I was able to sit back and observe and reflect on the year. Here is my goodbye letter to the kids who God used to reveal His guiding plan for my life.
Dear Third Grade B,
Today was our last Sunday together! I’ll still see you at Awana and in the halls on the way to children’s church, and hopefully some of you will be in my VBS class next summer. But this year in Sunday school will always be my favorite.
Thank you for always being willing to help, for each time you eagerly asked to be the one to pass out the pencils, and for collecting the markers with fervor.
Thank you for obligingly reciting the memory verses (I fully acknowledge you mostly did it for the candy). Thank you for loving my Reward Board idea and not destroying it (much) as the year wore on. Thank you for not complaining (much) when you didn’t get the exact piece of candy you wanted. Thank you for all the jokes and puns you shared.
Thank you for the cards you made for me when I had to miss a Sunday for my grandmother’s funeral. Thank you for your prayer requests for your sisters and brothers and parents and grandparents and friends at school; you have compassion and no trouble believing that prayer works.
Thank you for excitedly telling me about what you did last week, each week. I know more about Minecraft, Frozen, and Pokemon than I ever wanted to, including the fact that kids still care about Pokemon for some reason.
Thank you for the times that you misbehaved and taught me to be patient and go with the flow.
Thank you for building my confidence in teaching God’s word to you by being attentive and showing excitement when I went “off-book” and presented you with a new activity or craft idea. Thank you for being enthusiastic to find and read Bible verses. Thank you for showing me the value of teaching elementary-age kids about Jesus by growing in your faith; I could tell, even if you didn’t realize it, that you were learning and understanding about salvation and grace.
Thank you for the spontaneous hugs at the end of class today.
I’ll miss you, but you probably won’t miss me, because fourth grade is going to be even more awesome. Don’t lose your enthusiasm for the Bible. I pray that each of you truly meets Jesus as your savior, and that my class was only a stop along the way.
I’m sorry in advance if your new teachers only give you the cheap candy. You can always drop back by our blue-painted classroom for a Jolly Rancher or Pixy Stix.
Love, Mrs. Ashley