We begin each year with an all-staff meeting. This is a great chance for us to re-connect after the summer break, learn new techniques and strategies, discuss routines for the upcoming year and just have fun together. This year our theme was “Our Story.”
Through the use of the story theme we branched off into various topics:
Our individual stories are important. We took time to share with each other. We also talked about our group story as a preschool. Eventually we made a group story about a day at preschool using the Mad Lib format. It was pretty comical.
Cooperation is important for adults and children. Acting out the book The Enormous Carrot was fun for us as well as reinforcing a great way to share stories with children.
We also acted out the book Puppy Too Small. This book is a great way to talk with children about being excited about what you can do, instead of focusing on the things you can’t do.
We were glad to honor two of our staff members with the Jennie Nichols Dancing the Rain Award this year. DeAnne Arnold and Sara Willis have both faced breast cancer recently and were shining examples of a positive & faith-filled spirit.
We took time to delve into some books that were new to us. As with anything, sharing a discovery can often bring more insight and ideas.
A new Christmas song by Brandon Heath was our springboard into devotion. This story song gives us the Inn Keeper’s perspective of the Nativity story. He second guesses his decision to put this peasant girl in the stable instead of finding a place in his home. After all, he tried to rationalize to himself, she is just a girl. We talked about seeing beyond the surface. “Just a grumpy person” may be a person hurting and lonely, looking for support. “Just a child that grabs toys” may be a child that doesn’t have enough at home and feels the need to gather things to him or herself. We prayed for God to give us a loving, compassionate heart that would see deeper into the needs of the people we meet and the children we care for.
I don’t know if you know this about our staff but we LOVE to LAUGH! Throughout the morning we had staff members say a sentence that began with “Once upon a time” that related to a familiar story . . . while using a dental mouth spreader. We had fun trying to figure out just what they were saying.