First Year Teacher Reflection: Rhythms of the School and Church

This student's Genius Hour Project was to find any relation between the German language and the English language. She gave me this note and translated it. She said "this sounds like something you would say."

It is officially the end of the school year! What a race it has been!

I am finishing my first year as Associate Rector and my first year as a 7th Grade teacher. They have both been full of ups and learning opportunities. I know that I am better as a result of those experiences and closer to a deeper understanding of call.

The 7th Grade All-Stars (#Gamecocks)

To my surprise, the school year is much like the Liturgical Calendar, composed of a time of waiting, celebration, sacrifice and then celebration again. (Click here if you have no clue what “Liturgical” means.)

At Church, we experienced Advent, the time of waiting. At school, while working, we were waiting on Thanksgiving and Christmas Break. Christmas break became the celebration in the schoolhouse while we celebrated the Birth of Christ in the Church. January to April was the time of sacrifice, as it is called “The Long Stretch.” Ironically, the church found itself reflecting and sacrificing through Lent.

Easter came and we all celebrated the Resurrection of Christ and the beginning of a week-long Spring Break vacation. After that, we went through Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday as the school went through testing, finals and the end of school. Now we are approaching Ordinary Time and Summer Break, a time of rest, preparation, and heat.

The “After Service” Easter Selfie.

It was ridiculously interesting and exciting to experience both the rhythms of the schoolhouse and the Church at the same time.

I would occasionally preach behind the pulpit at church and hope to be of aid to the work of the Lord. Weekly in the classroom, I would attempt to mold the minds of my students into people who loved themselves, their families, each other, and understood their worth and potential.

As the year was coming to an end, I decided to give my students an opportunity to show what they’d learned. It was my hope that through the ebb and flow of the year, they would learn a few lessons. I praise God that it seems they learned the important lessons.

See the descriptions below and view the image to see their thoughts.


You must choose 5 or more colors based on the statements below:


  1. Blue – This year, I have learned to “dig deeper” and analyze.
  2. Green – My family means the world to me and I will share that with them during the summer.
  3. Yellow – I have clear goals that I want to pursue.
  4. Orange – Clemson is my favorite University
  5. Red – Someone other than Clemson is my favorite University.
  6. Purple – I now think about all sides of the conversation.
  7. Pink – I will challenge myself by reading difficult books in order to become a better reader.
  8. Black – Although I have some insecurities, I’m learning to believe that I am beautiful.
  9. Brown – I know that I am cared for and loved.


This student’s Genius Hour Project was to find any relation between the German language and the English language. She gave me this note and translated it. She said, “this sounds like something you would say.”