classrooms and cleanliness

Today I am subbing in just about the messiest classroom I have ever been in. I might bring my camera tomorrow to take pictures...it's really something to behold. Papers are piled and scattered everywhere...books, boxes, and folders are spilling over the counters on either side of the room... It's just trashed. It's interesting how some people can get their work done in this sort of environment - I know I couldn't. I shouldn't judge the teacher though, and I don't mean to. All kinds of things could be contributing to the state of the classroom and the disorganization...I'm just making an observation.

Today and tomorrow I am subbing in this room, and we're watching Rebel Without A Cause. Last year when I subbed one day for this teacher, I did the exact same thing. Thankfully this is a pretty good movie. Even though it was made in 1955 the kids seem to be able to relate somewhat, because it's about a couple teenagers and their struggles with their parents and peers while they're trying to find their way and be loved/accepted/good etc. The parts the kids laugh most at is when the teenagers in the movie are being disrespectful and rude to authority figures. Imagine that.

One thing this movie seems to be pointing out is how important the father figure is. Three of the main characters have messed up relationships with their dads. One dad is a wimp and wants to be friends with his son, one dad is an absentee, and one dad withholds affection and love from his daughter because he can't come to grips with the fact that she's becoming a woman. In all cases, all the kids need is for their dads to step up and be men and act like fathers. A lot of the stuff going on in their lives would be different if they had good fathers.

I see this reflected in real life, as I work with and talk to kids. The power that a father has on his children cannot be overestimated. That's why I'm glad I have a good dad; not perfect of course, but as good a one as is humanly possible, I think. I'm sure he's had a lot to do with the fact that I am (or I think I am) pretty well-adjusted and doing alright in life. As I continue to minister and pastor and all that, I hope I can play a part in building stronger families, helping parents to realize just how big an influence they have on their kids whether they know it or not. Parents should know this, and take heed.

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