I re-covered a flannel board today that my mother used to teach Sunday school when I was young. Flannel graph pictures have gone the way of the dinosaur, but a few brittle, yellowed envelopes of them can still be found in the attics of former Sunday school teachers and in the bowels of church storage rooms. Our church is starting up a new Sunday school program and I am overjoyed to be a part of it! I’ll be using some flannel graph items (new ones!) in my class and I noticed that my old board needed a makeover.
|Mom’s faded signature on the back.|
But, as I started to work, my flannel board kept interrupting me, sharing its memories of Sundays gone by. I know, I’m crazy to let inanimate objects talk to me, but I couldn’t help listening. It told me about Jonah and the whale, Noah and his ark, Adam and Eve (and the serpent!), and Elijah in his fiery chariot! It reminded me of how my mom carried it in to church each Sunday and how she brought it home. It shared the memory of the little aluminum table-top easel she used to set the board on. That made me think of the cupcakes she made for the bus kids and how my dad drove the bus, oh! And that tragic fall I took while riding with him at age five! This old board kept talking and talking. It talked about how dad covered it for mom using a staple gun. That had to hurt. I think we used masking tape at one time, too. Then, I thought about the Sunday afternoon lunches and naps, my dad in his recliner with a toothpick, watching football. (And trying, for the 80th time to explain “downs” to me!) It asked me if I remembered the times I would set it up in my bedroom and play Sunday school, using my dolls and stuffed animals for students. Of course, I did.
So many memories, so many happy times because my mom taught Sunday school.
|An old staple from dad and on the right, some masking tape residue.|
My mom was not just any teacher, she was an extraordinary teacher, as in, she-won-awards kind of extraordinary. When she entered a classroom full of students, regardless of her subject matter, she did it with excellence. She has taught elementary English and Special Ed. She has been a principal (which meant she was in charge of everything from the food served in the cafeteria to balanced budgets). She was the kind of teacher that made the kids say “I hope I get Mrs. Courtney this year.” My mother doesn’t think she’s so great, but I do. She has given her time, talent and treasure more times than I can count. She does it in the background, not out front where the world can see. But I see it. I see how hard she works to put up bulletin boards in the halls of her church, how she volunteers to teach at the small Bible college in her church and how she gives to those less fortunate. I see her boldness to witness for Christ. I see how she drops everything when she is needed by one of her children. And yes, I see how she’s still teaching third graders in Sunday school. I see my goodly heritage.
All because I listened to a flannel board.