This post is the E.X.C.E.L. teaching agenda for Rev. David Morehead, for the teachers session entitled, “NO ONE THROUGH THE CRACKS.” This lesson is being taught in Kernersville, North Carolina as part of the North Carolina District Sunday School Workshop on 2.22.20. Thank you Rev. Jacob Hedrick for the invitation.
We will read the children’s book, “THROUGH THE CRACKS.”
- Through the Cracks by Carolyn Sollman addresses one of the most important issues of our time: how youngsters become frustrated and disengaged in school systems that cannot always meet their emotional, mental, and intellectual needs. Presented as a children’s story, with powerful images that literally show the students “shrinking away” from the classroom, this allegory pleads with us to ensure the future of society by keeping kids creatively engaged. A young girl named Stella narrates, and she explains why she has lost pleasure in classwork.
- The problem: uninspired lessons leave them bored, with wandering minds that hinder learning. Fortunately, there are solutions here: bright and appealing classrooms where kids discuss their work and ideas, where special guests come to share their knowledge, where appealing art and research projects stimulate youthful imaginations, and where nature studies are actually done outdoors.
I will share pieces of my family background:
- The picture that is on the screen haunts me. It motivates me. The feet that are dangling represent so many students that I have worked with and failed. As I look at this screen I see the feet of so many of my past students. However, the feet that haunt me the most are the feet of my brother Justin Morehead FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS!
- I am the eldest child of four boys. On paper, without a doubt, my brother Justin was the smartest of the Morehead boys. He scored in the top percentile of his class on his ACT. He received a scholarship for Math and Science as well as an invitation to try out for the Basketball team. However, he chose to pass on all of these opportunities. In church, he became withdrawn, disengaged and eventually bitter. He began to make unwise choices. Eventually, he fell through the cracks.
FIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF A FIREFIGHTER
- Ezek 22:29-31 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. 30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. 31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.
- Jude 20-25 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
1) FIREFIGHTERS ARE POWERFUL
- Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
- Matthew 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
- Whether it’s games, it must be covered in prayer
- If it’s Hype it’s got to be covered in prayer – Hype and excitement has its place but it still must be covered in prayer (The pastor of Atlanta West in Atlanta, Georgia, Rev. Johns, preached a message at Mid-Winter a few years ago entitled “This AND That,” we don’t have to choose “This OR That.”) However, it MUST be covered in prayer!
- Your creative brainstorming sessions must be covered in prayer!
- Your MESSAGE must be covered in prayer!!!!!!
- Your STAFF must be covered in prayer!
2) FIREFIGHTERS ARE PRESENT
- Jude 1:21 KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
- The children of this generation are left alone far too often. Simply being present by sitting with them and playing a game, doing a craft or taking a prayer request can change their relationship with you and ultimately change their relationship with Christ!
- BOOK: Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time – Keith Ferrazzi & Tahl Raz
3) FIREFIGHTERS ARE PERSONAL
- Jude 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
- BOOK: Fish In a Tree – Lynda Mullaly Hunt
- If we are going to pull them out of the fire, we are going to have to meet our student’s needs on a PERSONAL, INDIVIDUAL basis.
- You must treat everyone according to their own needs.
- In the school world, it is called “Differentiated Learning.”
4) FIREFIGHTERS ARE PERSISTENT
- Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
- Even if you are over-worked & underpaid, you must pull them out of the fire
- Even when your pastor denies your budget, you must pull them out of the fire
- Even when you have NO budget, you must pull them out of the fire
- Even if you have no volunteers, you must pull them out of the fire
- Even if you don’t have your own kidz space, you must pull them out of the fire
- Even if you don’t have the support of the parents in your church, you must pull them out of the fire
- BOOK: Better – Atul Gawande – In his book “Better” American leading surgeon, Atul Gawande states, “The seemingly easiest and most sensible rule for a doctor to follow is: Always Fight. Always look for what more you could do. I am sympathetic to this rule. It gives us our best chance of avoiding the worst error of all—giving up on someone we could have helped.” He continues, “In the end, no guidelines can tell us what we have power over and what we don’t. In the face of uncertainty, wisdom is to err on the side of pushing, to not give up.”
5) FIREFIGHTERS ARE POSITIVE
- Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
- I have learned that the greater the circumstances, the greater the power. I have watched God move in the worst scenarios with the most amazing results.
- We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed ( 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 KJV)
POSITIVE TEACHER PLEDGE
- I pledge to be a positive teacher and positive influence on my fellow educators, students and school.
- I promise to be positively contagious and share more smiles, laughter, encouragement and joy with those around me.
- I vow to stay positive in the face of negativity.
- When I am surrounded by pessimism I will choose optimism.
- When I feel fear I will choose faith.
- When I want to hate I will choose love.
- When I want to be bitter I will choose to get better.
- When I experience a challenge I will look for opportunity to learn and grow and help others grow.
- When faced with adversity I will find strength.
- When I experience a set-back I will be resilient.
- When I meet failure I will fail forward and create a future success.
- With vision, hope, and faith, I will never give up and will always find ways to make a difference.
- I believe my best days are ahead of me, not behind me.
- I believe I’m here for a reason and my purpose is greater than my challenges.
- I believe that being positive not only makes me better, but it also makes my students better.
- So today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact on my students, school and the world.
- We will lay colorful cutout feet and sharpie markers across the altar. We will then call you to the front and challenge everyone to write names of children that you are praying for to not fall through the cracks. Finally, we will pray collectively for all of the children within our influence.
THIS TRAINING HAS BEEN CONDUCTED AT:
- FOCUS Youth Conference – Atlanta, Georgia – Johnathan Nazarian
- Michigan District Workshop – Lansing, MI – Phil Haner
- Arizona District Teacher Training – Phoenix, Arizona – Andy Combs
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