Back to Back Issues Page
Annette's Notes, Issue #032 - Seasons. Pennies Under Chairs.
August 17, 2022

Seasons. Pennies Under Chairs.

“To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

I hope your summer, or winter, is going well, in nature and in whatever life season you find yourself. I can feel it in the air:

The season is about to change.

As we transition into fall, or spring, let’s remember God planned that things would change. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of change. I am sometimes slow to adapt. I might dig in my heels a little. How about you?

If we feel this way, how much more our kids. It may be exciting for them to enter a new school year and join a new class and meet new friends. Or it may be intimidating. It is likely a combination of both.

After our last Sunday school promotion, a 5-year-old who joined our class was having problems. She tended to do the opposite of whatever we asked. She wouldn’t participate when we asked questions. If we asked her not to kick her neighbor’s chair, she did it even more. She did not act like this in her previous class. I think her reaction was like my reaction sometimes when God moves me into a new season: I feel overwhelmed. So many things are out of my control. I might not pray as much. I might not answer when God speaks. Or I might say, “No.” I might even do a little spiritual kicking.

In Sunday school, we worked on this student’s behavior with patience and a little firmness. Here are some things we did:

  • We let her make choices whenever we could: “Here are several coloring pages. Which one would you like?”

  • We controlled where she sat because sitting by certain students increased problem behavior. We basically assigned seats to all students for several weeks as she adjusted to the new class.

  • We were firm with her when we needed to be; for example, taking things away from her. This caused tears, but, “No, you can’t hit people with your glow stick.”

  • We gave positive reinforcement for every positive behavior. “Great answer to that question.” “Good job keeping your chair in place.”

  • Putting pennies under chairs. We put a penny under her chair and every other student’s chair. If the student followed the class rules and also kept her chair in place over the penny, she kept her penny. If she broke the rules or would not keep her chair in place, the teacher would come by and pick up her penny. At the end of class, everyone with a penny got to use it in our class gumball machine (which contains Everlasting Gobstoppers). I am not sure why, but kids love using the gumball machine and will almost instantly improve their behavior when they realize they might lose their chance.

(Image by Angela Rose from Pixabay. Image by Milly from Pixabay.)

Last Sunday I realized how much better our new student has been doing. After a couple of months, she is finally adjusting to a new season. We didn’t even use pennies last Sunday.

How are you adjusting to your new season? I will admit I have had a hard time adjusting to the season I entered nearly 6 years ago. God has continued working with me, guiding me gently and disciplining me as necessary, as I learn to navigate this season. He is so patient with me. How can I do less for my students?

Let's remember: seasons change. This will not last forever. Let’s learn and grow however we can in the season we are in, and we will be better prepared for whatever comes next.

“And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Galatians 6:9

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.
Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

2 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV)

Feel free to respond to this newsletter with your thoughts on seasons, pennies, classroom discipline, or other Sunday school topics. You can also share prayer requests with me, and it would be my privilege to pray for and with you.


P.S. Please check out my Bible Timeline Figures. Your purchase of these will help enable me to keep up and running. Thank you for your consideration!

Bible Timeline Figures

Back to Back Issues Page