Three years ago, my third grade class went to Uganda.
In 2009, I was placed in a teaching position my heart did not desire. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the very place that God would use to change my heart and the way I taught…forever. God took a year of physical and emotional pain and used it to open my eyes to His plan for my classroom. The following year, I took my students on a journey unlike any before.
Three years ago, my third grade class went to Uganda. We learned about the customs and traditions of the Ugandan people. We learned about their hardships and their needs. As we journeyed, I continued to teach what is required of me, but soon found myself teaching what my heart was longing to teach. In addition to the basics, I began to teach compassion. Yes, you do have to teach it. Children want to do good and they want to make a difference in this often crazy world they live in. Even at the age of 8, they are looking for someone to show them, teach them, lead them, and give them opportunities to be compassionate.
Compassion Friday began with a simple map of Africa, a photo card from Compassion, and some facts and information about Uganda. I shared letters with them, explored Uganda through the use of Google Earth, and they began to look at the globe as if it were an open door to new adventures. They were interested, engaged, and they wanted to know more.
No, we never really left our classroom.
Yet, if you asked them…
they’d tell you that was the year our class went to Uganda.