3rd & 4th Grade with Ms. Jones and Mrs. Durham: The Lord said to Joshua, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9)." This was the first passage in Bible we read at the beginning of the year, as well as our first class recitation. It was an appropriate passage to start the year off, as it has been a central theme in our readings and discovering what it looks like to be a hero. In Bible, God commanded Joshua to be "strong and courageous." It was not a request. As we discussed this idea in class, many students came to the idea that in order for Joshua to do what God planned for him to do, he had to be courageous to fulfill God's purpose for him and Israel. Many times we saw Joshua showing courage in trusting God in moments of much uncertainty, and Joshua always came out victorious. We have seen courage displayed in the life of Antonio Vivaldi, when he gave up his prestigious and high paying job at the Pieta, to continue his dream, not knowing the outcome. In Myths and Legends, the students are seeing that many of the gods are very prideful, but when they choose to show compassion to those less deserving, that is when they show true strength. In Read Aloud, the students are seeing how a family is supporting one another while their father is away. Most recently we read where the children ripped their red flannel petticoats in the cold weather to signal the train to stop before it would hit an obstruction on the railway. In United States History we have seen many discoverers bravely cross the unknown Sea of Darkness in search for new lands, while leaving their family and all that is familiar to them behind, with the understanding that they may never see them again, In Literature, Ellie lost her gold sovereign, and her new friend who was very poor found it. When Ellie heard of this, she did not say anything to her friend, but chose to stay silent because she knew her poor friend needed it more and did not want her to feel bad. Ellie showed bravery in her silence. As the Veteran's Day Service arrived, we discussed what made these men and women heroes; it was the many sacrifices they made for the people of this country. Our class has the gift of witnessing what a courageous hero looks like everyday. Their hearts and minds are discovering that the real heroes of this world often don't get their names in lights, or monuments named after them, because a genuine hero isn't after the glorification of self, but denies self and clings to the Creator of all heroes.
~Ms. Teresa Jones