Life Is Messy

Update: Almost two years ago I decided to become a teacher.  I had some preconceived notions of what teaching would look like, but I did not realize how essential it was to make learning fun.  A few weeks ago I wrote about an activity I did with my students.  The goal was to teach them the concepts of fractions.  Here are a few more posts about my adventures in teaching.

Teaching: A Journey Into the Unknown

When You Are Told No

Over and Over and Over and Over Again

Too Much ____________________!



Last week, I decided to allow my students to do something in the classroom that often drives me insane.  I allowed them to ball up a piece of paper, and shot it in the trash can.  My goal was to teach them about fractions and how to create fractions.  Each student had ten shots, and then they created fractions based on how they did.  The next part was students compared the fractions they created.  If you look at the image above you will notice a lot of paper on the floor.  You have to imagine 18 students, each with ten balls of paper, shooting them at the trash can, and several balls of paper not making it into the trash can.  Overall, they did a great job, and had a lot of learning to show for it.

The main takeaway I gathered from this activity was, this lesson was a mess.  It made me think about life.  Life can be very messy.  Too often we want our lives to be neat and clean, and we want things just to fall smoothly into place.  Very rarely does this happen.  I cannot count the number of times I wanted certain events in my life to be smooth, and then the mess came out.  I look back at those moments, and I realize what has defined me is how I reacted to the mess.  Sometimes, I would do well, but other times I did not live up to my potential.

So how do we handle the mess?  When I was preparing this lesson, I knew I needed to build in a plan to make sure my class cleaned up the mess.  In life, the only way we can prepare for the mess is by strengthening our relationship with God.  By reading the Scriptures daily, prayer, and involvement with a local church, you lay the foundations for being ready for when the mess comes.

Often we think if you do those things the mess will not come, but in reality these things do not prevent the mess.  Building our relationship with God will not stop the mess, but it will prepare you for when it comes.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. – Deuteronomy 7:9

If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. – II Timothy 2:13


Here is a pic of another fun fraction activity I did with my students.  They had to design a multicolored table with 24 squares, then create fractions with the various numbered tiles.



This is part of the daily challenge.


15 thoughts on “Life Is Messy

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  2. What a fun way to encourage learning about what I always found to be a difficult topic. I wish I had enjoyed a teacher like you when I was young 🙂
    As for life. I think I have had to learn to embrace the mess as a necessary part of strengthening my spirit.

    • I remember last year when I taught fractions, and I can’t count the number of times I had to re-teach it because my students didn’t get it. This year, I took a step back and assumed they didn’t get it. I also looked into different activities for them to enjoy learning about fractions. I will say, there was more to it than I expected, but I love it. I think embracing the mess is what I think keeps the passion going because there is defiantly enough out there to slow you down.

      P.S. I added another activity about fractions on the page.

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