Baptized In Fire

Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes and experience true terror? That happened to me yesterday. I got a text from the Assistant Principal telling me I needed to go cover a class. This was not just any class. It was a Kindergarten class!

I felt this nauseous sensation come over me as I started my way towards the abyss known as the Kindergarten hallway. I knew that I was walking towards the edge of sanity and I might not come back. It was like the scene in The Green Mile with somebody calling out “Dead Man Walking.”

I had to relieve Ms. Kaba while she went to meet with a parent about her child’s behavior. As I saw Ms. Kaba leave the room, I realized for the first time how Daniel must have felt being thrown into the lions’ den. All these little aliens were looking at me like they were ready to pounce.

They were happily munching on their snacks (which most of them were wearing all over their face, hands, and clothes). Almost on cue about ten of them surrounded me and started asking me questions. All I remember was saying “Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.” I am not even sure what I said yes or no to. I prayed quickly, “Lord, please don’t let them touch me.” I really did not know what to do, so I went across the hallway to the lead teacher and told her I needed help and I needed it NOW.

She was amazing. She came in, surveyed the room, and then announced that she was setting the timer for 2 minutes to finish eating. She would be back in two minutes and anyone not finished would have to clip down (apparently that is like a death threat to a Kindergarten kid because they took it very seriously). She came back in 2 minutes and reset the timer for a minute and a half and announced that they had to have EVERYTHING cleaned up and put away in a minute and a half or they would clip down.

The kids started moving so fast it was like watching a film that had been sped up. I had to tell some of them to slow down to keep them from hurting themselves or someone else. Sure enough, in a minute and a half she came back in and surveyed the room. All the mess was cleaned up in a minute and a half! Wow. I just stood there with my jaw open at what I had just witnessed.

Then she proceeded to put the class into “stations.” She set up 4 different stations and gave them specific instructions for each station. She then set the timer again and told them when the timer was up, they would rotate to the next station. This was like watching a great master conduct the most beautiful masterpiece in the world. The kids just fell into line and did what they were told.

About that time, Ms. Kaba returned from her parent meeting. I had this weird sensation like I was waking up from a bad dream. I thanked her for what she and her co-workers do every day. Kindergarten kids are so needy! That is not a good thing for me because I am very needy too!

I think that Kindergarten Teachers are up there next to Jesus. They have the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of Samson, and the love of Jesus all wrapped in a smile. I know that I am Superman, but Superman met his Kryptonite in the form of a Kindergarten class. I now have a profound respect and love for anyone who teaches Kindergarten kids. You guys rock!

P.S. Ms. Kaba has 2 young kids at home and is expecting her third. She teaches Kindergarten kids all day then goes home to deal with her own kids. How crazy is that? Crazy good!

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

One Response to “Baptized In Fire”

  1. Mary McGregor says:

    Hey Daniel! Loved reading about your Early Childhood experience. I love kindergarten and Pre-K. I would take them over 5/6 graders ANY DAY, ANY TIME!

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