Sometimes life has a way of surprising us and making us wonder what God has planned for us. If we rely on our faith to get through those difficult times, amazing things can happen. In August, our beloved fourth grade teacher, Kathleen O’Brien, was called by God to her eternal rest.
All at St. John School in Old Saybrook were shocked and saddened. While overwhelmed by her loss, the school still had to find a new teacher for the fourth grade. In faith we know that God works in mysterious ways. At the same time this was happening at SJS, another amazing teacher had just found out that her school was closing.
Mrs. Meyer had been preparing for a new school year in Mooreland Hill School in Kensington, Connecticut. She felt unsure of what lay ahead, but her daughter asked her where she could see herself teaching. The answer was Saint John School. When Mrs. Meyer made the call, Mrs. Breault, SJS secretary, said, “God sent you to us.” When she spoke to Mother Elaine, she knew she had found a new home.
At the start of classes, Mrs. Meyer asked her students to prepare “All about Me” posters. It was a fun way to get to know each other.
Mrs. Meyer believes in a hands-on style of learning. While learning about the saints, one student suggested making banners with each saint’s information. The first saint was Saint Padre Pio! The banners have the saint’s information and Bible verses.
The class also requested a prayer corner in the room. The corner has pictures of places of comfort, like a church and home. How wonderful that the students requested this space!
Believing that reading to the class encourages students, Mrs. Meyer has read “Waiting for the Magic” to the children. One of the main characters is a dog. The next book she picked to read is called, “The Poet’s Dog.” Sensing a theme, Mrs. Meyer admitted to the students to having three lovable pet dogs at home!
The study of science is enhanced by special jars on the window wall containing different liquids. By adding new things to the jars, the students learn by observing changes.
They are asked to document their observations and figure out the reasons for the changes. When asked what special skills she brings to her job as a teacher, she listed her positivity and her desire to reach each child on some level every day. It’s not surprising that her daily blog is entitled “Joyful at St. John School.” Nor is it surprising that her license plate proclaims “Smile!” There is no doubt that God smiled upon SJS when He sent Mrs. Meyer to us.
-- By MARYLOU ZINSER