Tag Archives: teachers

Contain Humility






This week our saints are focusing on humility. At CCA we illustrate it with placing dirt into Little Pot.





Our word humility comes from the Latin word humus. Humus means good soil. We tell our saints that Little Pot wasn’t excited about being filled with dirt. However, dirt is what is needed to grow fruit. Just like humility is necessary for us to grow the fruit of the Spirit.


In chapel last week we read several verses about how God feels about humility.

I will bless those who have HUMBLE and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word -Isaiah 66:2


Do nothing out or rivalry or conceit

In HUMILITY consider others as more important than yourselves

Everyone should look not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others -Philippians 2:3-4


We learned that humility IS NOT

Downplaying or thinking less of yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself


And, that humility IS

Knowing the truth about yourself and where you stand with God.

Knowing you can’t do things without God and that you need Him.

Know that God knows you better than you know yourself.

It is saying, “God, I need your help!”


It is hard for children to pray for themselves. Often their prayer requests are for others. We ended our chapel by asking each child to put a scoop of soil into Little Pot and pray “Lord, I need your help ___________.” It was precious to hear the requests each of them made for a need of their own.



And as God always does for me, I can never teach a lesson that isn’t hitting home with me too. While giving this lesson, the teachers and I have been reading a book by Nicole Unice called “She’s Got Issues”.




This week it dealt with control. It is no secret to anyone what a control freak I can be. This book, however, put my need for control in the context of my own humility or lack of.  Pray with us as we all work on gaining a deeper understanding of how to be humble.

Little Pot’s Growth Chart

Little Pot grows fruit and we know that the fruit it grows comes from the Holy Spirit. So how does it happen? What are the steps? Recently I worked with an awesome team of educators at Liberty University to develop a leadership model.  We agreed that leadership comes when we can transform what we know into the lives of others (which is also fruit bearing).  Together we came up with five steps.

First we must remember we are created by God and are simply vessels made for His use.  Envision yourself as clay pot.  You are an empty vessel and waiting for the potter’s filling so you can grow into a great leader. 

Step 1- Humility

            To grow a leader, the potter fills you with humus or soil. Humus is “a dark brown or black colloidal mass of partially decomposed organic matter in the soil.  It improves the fertility and water retention of the soil and is therefore important for plant growth” (“humus,” n.d., para. 2).   The word “humility” is derived from the Latin form of humus. In the Bible Christ explains a parable about a seed (the Word of God) and three types of soil. (Luke 8, New King James Version [NKJV]).  In verse fifteen, He says “the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15, NKJV). God’s word may be planted within you but without humility it cannot take root and grow. 

Step 2- Integrity

            The seed of God’s word planted in humility will stem integrity.  Integrity is necessary for leaders. It isn’t the prettiest part of a plant or the part that others first notice.  However, it is what holds the plant together.  It is the part of the plant that brings nutrients up from the roots.  Our integrity is what we can have to stand on.  “A person with integrity does not have divided loyalties (that’s duplicity), nor is he or she merely pretending (that’s hypocrisy)” (Maxwell, 1993, p. XI).  Any damage to the stem of a plant can jeopardize the life of a plant.  In the same way, anything we do to damage our integrity will jeopardize our leadership. 

Step 3- Relationships

            Integrity that stems from God’s Word rooted in humility will begin to form relationships.  Consider your relationships to be leaves that reach out as you grow.  By fostering relationships we are able to become a more effective leader.  In every relationship we form we act as either a leader or a follower.  Each has specific roles and relate differently to this model of leadership. 

Step 4- Knowledge

            Once relationships form and integrity has stemmed, knowledge will bloom.  In the growth model, think of knowledge as a flower.  Others are drawn to the flower part of a plant, just as they are drawn to your knowledge.  Knowledge is not the final quality, however.  It is not the potter’s plan for us to simply draw others toward us and admire us.  The flowering part of our leadership plant has a much greater purpose hidden within.  We obtain knowledge so that we can bear fruit and reproduce it into another person’s life.

Step 5- Transform

            The final quality and stage of growth for a leader is being able to transform God’s Word into someone else.  Growth is a cycle and must reproduce itself.  Think of your little pot that you filled with humility so God’s Word could be planted and take root.  You stemmed integrity, formed relationships, and bloomed knowledge, all so you could bear fruit. It is important to know that within each piece of fruit a seed exists.  That seed is still the Word of God and is ready to be planted into another vessel or person who is full of humble soil.

My Life Interrupted

jonahThis coming Tuesday (March 29), I will begin leading the Bible study by Priscilla Shirer titled, Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted.

I was searching for a new study to do with our moms and teachers and a friend recommended this one to me.  I first wondered if God had more for me to gain from the very familiar story of Jonah. Then I realized that I am definitely living an interrupted life.

To be perfectly honest with each of you, it is one area I still struggle with when I get alone with God. That is because CCA and becoming the principal there is an interruption to where I thought my life was headed as an author.  I’ve had to make huge sacrifices with my own life goals and plans to successfully do the job at CCA. I knew that going into it. However, it is still a stronghold that Satan likes to work on in my life when I get discouraged with the many pressures of my job. I have learned just in the first few days of the study that being principal at CCA is not an “interruption” to God’s plan for my life but a “divine intervention”.   

I am very excited to work through this study with the teachers and parents at our school. I know God has a lot more to tell me.

We will meet each Tuesday in Room 26 at 3:30

Central Christian Academy

1200 Hodges Ferry Rd

Portsmouth, VA 23701


The schedule will be as follows.

March 29 – Session 1

April 5 – Session 2

April 12 – Session 3

…(Easter Break)

April 26 – Session 4

May 3 – Session 5

May 10 – Session 6

May 17 – Session 7 and Review


I hope you can join us.

Principal From the Black Lagoon

principal from the black lagoonToday my children gave me a Mother’s Day gift.

It was the book, The Principal from the Black Lagoon. I remember reading the Scholastic “Black Lagoon” books to my students years ago. When I started my job as Principal at Central Christian Academy, the four year old class at the school were making up all kinds of stories. Like my office was painted black and I had a great big paddle. I have to admit the first week on the job caused a sense of fear that simply came from the “unknown”.  The students not knowing the new principal or how I would handle discipline worked to my advantage.  Anyway, my own teenage daughters loved the dinner time stories each evening of the day’s events of students being sent to the principal’s office and how I handled each offense.  They thought I would need a copy of this book for my office.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do. It is much more dear to me now that I sit inside that office each day and watch children undergo the drama of being “sent” there. Thanks to the media, our children today have very little that cause them fear.  And my office is painted in a very cheery way and there is no paddle. Instead, there is a Little Pot full of treats.

But, when they misbehave or disrupt class, they still need to know that there are consequences. So as they come in and sit there looking up at me, I realize their own imagination is driving a fear inside them. I always talk to them about their behavior and let them know the immediate consequences as well as the future consequences should it continue. But as one four year old little boy stated when I was finished asking him if he understood? – he replied, “Yes, but your office isn’t black.”  Trying not to smile at him, I then said in my principal voice . . . “You’re right, it’s not black – but you still need to correct your behavior.”

You’ll need to read the book to fully grasp the idea. – but once you do, you’ll see that being the Principal form the Black Lagoon is OK with me.

Little Pot teaches the SOLs – A kdg lesson plan for VA public schools

This lesson plan was used with The Little Pot book at

Ingleside Elem. School in Norfolk, VA

It was written by Ms. Clark, Art teacher.


Grade/Class: Kindergarten

Big Idea: Celebration

Lesson: Clay Pinch Pots

Essential Questions:

  • Why do artists use clay?
  • What sorts of things are made out of clay?
  • How can artists manipulate clay?
  • What can a pot be used for?

Art SOL(s)/Objective:

K.3          The student will identify and use textures—sight and touch; and patterns—natural and man-made.

K.9          The student will describe the sequence of steps in the making of a work of art.

K.10        The student will use motor skills (e.g., pinching, pulling, squeezing, twisting, pounding, rolling, folding, cutting, modeling, stamping) to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art.

K.11        The student will identify people who make art as “artists” (e.g., painters, sculptors, printmakers, architects, graphic designers).

K.12        The student will identify the purposes for creating works of art.

K.16        The student will discuss and explain ideas and expressions in personal works of art.

Other SOL Correlation:

K.4       Investigate and understand that objects can be described (by color, shape, texture, size, and position)

K.00 NC          Communicate ideas by explaining processes

Assessment (Rubrics):

The student will follow a sequence of directions.

The student will demonstrate motor skills by manipulating clay.

Materials: Red  low-fire clay, one styro tray per student, assorted clay tools, clay cart

Visuals/Instructional Resources:


Children’s Literature/Picture Books: The Little Pot, Dawn Stephens

Vocabulary: clay, pottery, potter, kiln, author, illustrator, pattern, texture

Motivation/Anticipatory Set: Author/Illustrator Dawn Stephens will visit the classroom and read her book, The Little Pot.(setup clay and trays during the story)

Procedure (include checking for understanding and independent practice):

Demo the steps in making a clay pot:

  1. Make a ball.
  2. “The Hokey Pokey” Poke your thumb into the ball of clay.
  3. Pinch and turn, squeezing the sides so the hole gets bigger.
  4. Use tools: Add texture, pattern, and eyes to your little pot!

Read the rule: The clay must stay on the tray, or we’ll take it away!

After reviewing the steps, students go to their seats to make their pots.

Teachers and assistants will write the students’ NAME and CLASS on the bottom with a pencil.

Closure: As students are finishing their pots, ask, “What will you put in your pot?” and “If you were a pot, what kind of pot would you be?”

The Story of Ferdinand – Being Yourself and Being Content

Based on The Story of Ferdinand

by Munro Leaf, drawings by Robert Lawson

true story of the three little pigs in little pot

I chose this story for our “Fruit Bearing Book” today because I recently saw the movie, Blindside.  If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll remember the reference. If not, you should. -It is a great movie!

In the story, a bull named Ferdinand doesn’t really enjoy doing “bull things”. Instead, he likes smelling  flowers and laying in the shade. He just isn’t a typical bull. When men come searching for the meanest and toughest bull, Ferdinand is stung by a bee. He jumps, kicks, and bucks at the pain. The men assume he is the meanest and therefore carry him off to the stadium to be in a bull fight. But Ferdinand remains calm and gentle.

I thin we can learn 2 main things from Ferdinand –

1. To be content.

I think we sometimes can become so discontented with our lives that we forget to appreciate all that God has done for us and given to us. We constantly ask God to do more in our lives and remain unsatisfied with all that He does do. John the Baptist warns people that they need to be contentwith what they have. (Luke 3:14) In Luke 15, we read the parable of the lost son. Ferdinand was not at all like either of the sons in this story. Both sons struggled with discontentment.

2. To be who you everywhere you go.

This quality in Ferdinand is what makes it easy for him to be content. Ferdinand knew what he liked and he was OK to be different. He didn’t let his circumstances change him. I think it could have been easy for a calm and gentle bull to turn into a raging, fighting bull given the circumstance that Ferdinand was put in.  As Christians we often use our circumstances as an excuse to be less than Christlike.

God uses circumstances to put us into new situations. Ferdinand was able to show an entire stadium of people that bulls aren’t always mean and ferocious. Even though Ferdinand’s surroundings changed, he did not.

So the questions we must ask ourselves  is #1 – are you content? – and if so, do you let circumstances affect your behavior and change who you are?


-Have students write their own story by naming qualities about themselves. Then have them make up story where they are in a place or situation that those qualities would make it difficult for them to be there. Discuss with them how Ferdinand was brave to remain true to himself throughout the story.  Let your students see that it takes a brave person to remain true to who they are in all circumstances.

-Ferdinand spent a lot of time alone smelling flowers and sitting under the tree. Invite students to have their own alone time too. We have to spend time alone to really know ourselves and to get to know God. Encourage students to enjoy being alone without video games or TV. Kids have a very difficult time doing that today.

-Research bullfighting and help students discover how that type of entertainment was what people enjoyed before video games.

-Have children act out the story. They’ll have fun pretending to be Ferdinand when he is stung by the bee. Just be careful they don’t kick each other.

Disclosure: These ideas are that of this blog and teachers using this book, not the author or publisher of the book. To purchase this book through amazon you can click on this widget and help support more Bible Lessons in Children’s Literature

For more Bible Lessons in Children’s Literature click on the links below:

Town Mouse, Country Mouse, Content Mouse

A Porcupine Named Fluffy – Living Up To “The Name”

Corduroy – The Search For a Friend

The True Story of The Three Little Pigs and Truth Discovery

Lessons with Peter Rabbit

Seven Blind Mice and the Cure for Our Blindness

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – and a new life

Learning the Bible from Pinocchio -by Debbie Boush

Harry the Dirty Dog, Lost Dog and Lost Son

Where the Wild Things Are

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Is Your Mama a Llama? Are you the image of God?

Is your Mama a Llama? This is one of my all time favorite books. As a teacher, I loved reading it to my students. The rhyming verse and the predictability of the next word as you turned the page made it a completly interactive experience. It was a great tool in teaching students to read. I also had the privledge of meeting Deborah Guarino in New York and she is as fun in person as she in her text.Debiorah Guarino and me
But lets get into our Bible lesson with this story. The young Llama goes about questioning the other animals to see if their “mama” is a llama.
The boldness of this little guy is inspiring. I wonder as we go through our days meeting people if we bother to question who their heavenly father is. The animals identify their “mama” by the way she looks, what she eats, and the sounds she makes (“moo”).
Christ identified who he was by letting us know who his father is. In Colossians 1:15, Paul tells us that Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  Knowing that Christ is the Son of God is the foundation to the Christian faith but it goes beyond that.  When we accept Christ as our savior we become a child of God ourself. (1 John 3:2) – So, the natural lesson in this book is in genetics. We all inherit genes that make us look like our mamas and daddies. But don’t miss the opportunity that we also need to take on the image of Christ. We are now children of God. If we’ve received Christ as our savior then we have a heavenly father wants to reveal Himself to us. He wants us to be more and more like Him. If we are, then others will recognize it – and just as Lloyd the Llama could guess each “mama” by the traits it possessed, others will recognize that we are Christians by the things we say and do. So, the real question isn’t, “Who is your Mama?”- it’s:  “Who is your heavenly father? – And how can we tell?”

Teaching with Picture Books Bears Fruit

girl-readingMethods of teaching have changed quite a bit. In fact, when I was a teacher, it was said to me, if you don’t like the way they ask you teach, hang around a few years, and it wil all change.
One method, however, that every teacher and student seem to thrive with is Litracy Based Activities. This is when a teacher reads a story to the class. Then the story and the characters within the story are used to teach the many different objectives a student must learn. These activities cover all different subject matter. Experienced teachers do this naturally as they read stories. They find items in the story that extend a student’s learning to the other objectives being taught. Once the story is read, the teacher then provides activites based on the story. For example, math problems about the story or writing activities that extend the author’s idea make a good start.
This method goes beyond making learning interesting to students. It teaches them to be critical thinkers and use books to extend their thinking. Who hasn’t eaten Green Eggs and Ham after reading it? Share with us some of your favorite books and learning activities below.