My youngest daughter started kindergarten when she was four years old. She attended a small Christian school. However, because of financial difficulties, I had to enroll her in a public school in the fifth grade.
The transition was not easy. At the small Christian school, there was very little interaction between the students; each student had a cubicle and raised their hands when they had questions concerning their assignments. The public elementary school in our suburban community was huge and there were lots of students in her classroom. The students were very competitive, especially in classroom discussions. This was the opposite of the small individualized environment of my daughter’s former school. Needless to say, it was a culture shock for my quiet little girl.
The teacher must have mistaken her quiet and shy demeanor as a lack of preparedness for grade level work. She never mentioned this to me even though I had attended every parent-teacher meeting. In addition, my little girl had passing grades, although they were not as great as they were at her former school. Two months before the end of the year, the teacher told me that she did not think that my daughter was ready for the sixth grade. I vehemently disagreed and voiced my concerns about why she had not shared this with me earlier. If she had I would have had my daughter transferred to another class. I was disappointed in the teacher and I shared it with administration. I also began to explore ways to counteract the negative report of the teacher. As a parent and an educator, I was not opposed to taking the situation to a higher source in the school system.
Lo and behold! As I prayed, I realized that I did need a higher source–just not a human one! Not only did I pray to my Heavenly Father, but I also compiled a series of scriptures on confidence. My daughter and I would say these scriptures every day on the way to school.
At the end of the year, the teacher told me that she was going to pass my daughter and she did not really know why. I knew why. It was prayer, the Holy Spirit intervention and standing on those confidence and favor scriptures. I also knew that, as the weeks went by, my daughter gained confidence in that foreign environment. For some reason, the teacher had mistakenly interpreted my child’s shy demeanor as an aptitude issue and an inability to master grade level content instead of lack of confidence in an entirely different environment. As Lani gained confidence, she found her voice.
In many classrooms across the country, the loud, vocal students are the ones that are heard and affirmed while the quiet little boy or girl falls between the cracks. I was not about to let that happen to my daughter.
How I wanted to go back to that teacher the next year and the next after that to tell her that my quiet little girl—the one that she did not think was ready for the sixth grade was making honor roll every six weeks, yes, every six weeks!
Scripture Verses that my Daughter Memorized and Said Each Day on Her Way to School:
ON CONFIDENCE: I have confidence because Jesus Christ is within me and I walk in His love.
Philippians 1:6 . . . being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you (personalized–in me) will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
Romans 8:37 . . . in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
ON FAVOR: I have favor with my teachers and school administrators.
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Proverbs 3:3-4 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.
ON WISDOM: School is easy for me. I like school. I do well on tests. I understand math, science, reading, English, history, health and social studies and they are easy for me. I make good grades.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of Truth (the Bible).
Proverbs 23:12 Apply your heart to Instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
Proverbs 19:20 Hear counsel, receive instruction and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.