What “Let Your Light Shine” Means in the Life of a 5th Grader

Post by Bev Koops, 5th grade teacher

It was lunch recess and I could hear my students in the hallway: “How about I’ll bring the vacuum over and you start putting up chairs,” one of my students said to his friend.

This doesn’t sound like typical fifth grade conversation, does it? But in the elementary classrooms of Shoreline Christian, it’s something we’ve been hearing quite regularly lately.

Mrs. Oordt, who has faithfully been vacuuming our classrooms for years, recently injured her shoulder and hasn’t been able to vacuum. Her husband has been taking over her tasks for her as often as he can. But, the fifth graders saw a need and an opportunity to serve.

When I asked the students who might be interested in helping out with some vacuuming, there were so many volunteers that I had to draw names out of a hat in order to be fair. We made a schedule: two students per recess would vacuum the rooms, starting downstairs in Kindergarten and working their way up. This continued for several days, and teachers were so grateful! The Oordts even wrote a note of thanks and left a big batch of cookies for the students to enjoy!

Later, when Mrs. Oordt’s shoulder was healing well and she was ready to vacuum again, I was a little worried about my students’ reaction when they would hear the news. They were so enthusiastic to vacuum, always smiling and cheerful when it was their turn, would they be disappointed to stop?

When I told them about Mrs. Oordt’s return, I was surprised to find out that they were actually quite glad that she was ready to vacuum again. Not only were they thankful that she was healing well, but they admitted they weren’t actually so thrilled about missing recess to vacuum. They had been volunteering so cheerfully and willingly, I was unaware many of them didn't actually enjoy doing it. What beautiful servant hearts they have in helping with a need, even when it wasn't a fun thing to do! Their lights are shining in the halls and classrooms here at school!