On Friday we attended the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and hid from the frigid cold amidst sculptures, artifacts, and paintings. The students broke into pairs of two and completed a scavenger hunt task with which they needed to use the MIA map and their spatial skills (no Google maps) to find the designated artwork and complete the designated task to invite wonder and study. From dishes in ancient China to tribal masks to European Impressionist paintings, the adolescents ventured amidst the galleries representing various cultures and expanded their worldviews and their knowledge of history.
As they wandered amidst the 2nd and 3rd floors, I wandered around and observed them. They had a competitive fire and interest as they searched and looked at room numbers and asked the security guards and docents for assistance. One security guard told me he had never seen any students as well behaved as ours!
After about 3 hours of scavenging, the students came together and discussed the hi's and lows and what new and interesting pieces they came to learn about. Although they may not readily admit that the MIA was their first choice of places to be, I sensed a feeling of accomplishment (amidst sore feet) for what they did and how intensely they studied and hunted and worked together.
Leaving for the day, I saw a maturity in the group that I hadn't seen before, a sense that they can handle being in a "real world" environment and behave in an ordered and grace-filled way. I saw them understand that the MIA may be boring but that many students aren't able to see first-hand some of the beautiful artwork that they were able to walk by that day. I saw in them a self-awareness and a self-composure that was new and profound. What a beautiful day.
Its 2019. What does that mean?
Mrs. Goodwin will enter into her 3rd year of teaching and finish her certification.
The A1 classroom will usher out its first graduating class of 8th graders.
The A1 program will have lived through its second year.
There are many things to expect in the New Year and already we should be thanking the Lord of his goodness and blessing.
The classroom will tighten its belt with its own resolutions - higher standards for writing and reading content - higher expectation for behavior and a culture of kindness - a greater encouragement to enter deeper into prayer through Litanies and Lectio Divina. There will be more encouragement to push forward, try new things, and explore creative abilities. There will be more opportunities to explore new things, experience new situations, and stretch awareness and abilities.
Instead of living for when school gets out, when your work is done, when its Friday, let's beg for the grace to live each moment intentionally and beautifully. Instead of looking at to do lists, homework packets, and unread emails, let's first look at the face in front of us. Let's make 2019 a year that glorifies Jesus Christ. I think that is a resolution to stand by.