Yesterday was the end of our first week of school. There are 14 new kindergarten students with one new teacher, Mrs. Matsuoka and one returning veteran teacher, Mrs. Turner. Miss Johnson and Mrs. Ekstrand have 17 first graders, 5 of the students are new to CAJ. Second grade was excited to welcome 5 new students to make a total of 19 for Miss Park and Mrs. Wordell. Miss Hardeman welcomed 3 new students and 17 returning students to 3rd grade. Fourth grade has 30 students with 5 of them new and 2 returning after a year in the States. They also welcome one of our new teachers, Mrs. Paul, and Mr. Fujishima who is returning from a year in the States and Mrs. Iijima. Mrs. Prevatt welcomed one returning student from Australia and 4 new students to make a total of 32 in fifth grade. We also welcomed a new resource/speech and language teacher, Mrs. Fong. Of course we have many other returning staff as well, Mrs. Seely in art, Miss Owen in music, Coach Eby and Coach Long in PE, Mrs. Ingulsrud in the library, Mrs. Takahashi as elementary guidance and Japanese teacher, Miss Lewis as EAL coordinator and EAL teacher, Mrs. Tsuji as resource teacher, Mrs. Hayashi, Miss Sakamoto and Mr. Yaegashi as Japanese teachers. For a total of 132 students and 23 staff members. I’m excited and privileged to be working with the wonderful group of students and staff that God has brought together at this time. This year I am Elementary principal, Elementary technology integration specialist and Elementary chapel coordinator.
As elementary chapel coordinator and principal I decided to begin our first chapel by sharing something God had laid on my heart and head: HATS.
We all wear many hats and often you can tell what job a person does by the hat he is wearing. I shared a 3-cornered hat with the students. When I was a student I learned a fun song, My Hat it Has Three Corners. A hat is often used to cover and protect our head. God’s love is like a hat, he covers us with his love and protection. He sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross so we could have eternal life and one day go to heaven.
Each side of the 3 cornered hat reminds me of something I am. First of all I am a CITIZEN. The dictionary says that a citizen is someone who lives in a town or country and has rights and privileges. I think a citizen also has responsibilities to the place they live. Most of us have a passport that says we are are citizen of a particular country, but we may live in a different country and therefore have rights and responsibilities in more than one place. As believers in Christ, we are also a citizen of heaven. Since we are part of the Christian Academy in Japan community we are citizens of CAJ. In the coming weeks we will also be talking about being responsible digital citizens. What are your responsibilities as a citizen of heaven? Of CAJ? As a digital citizen?
Next I am an AMBASSADOR. The dictionary says that an ambassador is an authorized messenger or representative. Usually we think of an ambassador as someone who represents his or her country to another country. I believe that God and CAJ are asking each of us to be an ambassador. How are you representing God and CAJ as you travel to and from school? When you greet people? When you go on a field trip? Are you sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with people in your neighborhood?
I’ve already heard one story from a teacher about one of her students who was feeling sad at recess and clinging to the teacher. An older student, quietly approached the teacher and sad student and asked if the student would like to play with them. Unsure at first, the student did join 2 others playing in the rocks. What a great AMBASSADOR.
The last side has the word STUDENT. We are all students. Each of the boys and girls are at CAJ to learn, but the staff and parents should also be learning. The Bible is a book that we can study our entire life and still not fully understand. The staff are also constantly learning and growing as educators.
We all wear many hats. May we frequently think about our three cornered hat: CITIZEN, AMBASSADOR, STUDENT.
Please enjoy the video of photos of students and staff from the first week of school. Hopefully there will be more as the year progresses and you will be able to enjoy seeing what the students are learning and how they are growing.
Music on the video is Don’t Close Your Eyes, composer: Josh Woodward. Royalty Free Music Library offers a huge selection of royalty free music on CD, virtual CD, or individual download.