Michel: Classroom scene flies from butterfly kits

Published 12:01 am Saturday, March 16, 2019

When I taught, around this time of year, I would order a butterfly kit complete with a cup of live caterpillars.

The students and I marveled as we watched the caterpillars spin their silky cocoons, then days later, emerge as butterflies.

One day, to prepare the class for the experience, I showed a movie that beautifully captured the life of a caterpillar and its transformation into a butterfly.

As soon as the movie ended, one student turned to me and asked, “Mrs. Michel, is that really how it happens?”

In that moment, I realized my responsibility as a teacher more clearly than ever before. I understood the gravity of my words and how dependent these children were on me to tell them the truth.

If I had stood up and announced to the class that the movie was wrong and that I was the person who made all of the butterflies, they would have believed me.

Scanning the classroom, I saw that all of those little faces were waiting for my reply.

“Yes, that’s exactly how God makes butterflies,” I said.

I silently prayed that I would always be worthy of these precious children’s trust, and that they would always trust the word of God. Isaiah 40:8 is clear, “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

The students in my classroom are now about 24 years old and finding their place in life. I prayed for them this morning, hoping that the scriptures they memorized in the second grade, the Bible stories they learned and the prayers we prayed formed a foundation of faith in God that they are building upon.

Then I ordered butterfly kits for my granddaughters.

Ronny Michel can be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.