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Advent : the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.

December 2, 2020 | Clara Buckley

When we returned from Thanksgiving break, the classroom looked different. The biggest difference was the worship area at the front of the rug. There was a tree! More candles! A purple cloth! We have entered the season of Advent, waiting and preparing for the birth of Jesus.

In The Nest each classroom has a Jesse Tree, named from Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Our Jesse Tree will be decorated with ornaments representing the prophets who foretold Christ’s coming. We only have to wait 4 weeks until Christmas, these prophets and God’s people waited hundreds of years!

Every day at the close of worship, the children make an ornament for the Jesse Tree to represent the Old Testament prophet heard that day. Today the Rivers class made staffs to represent Moses, and hung them on our Jesse Tree. 

In our break area, we are using Seesaw to show a video recording of that day’s worship. The wooden figures in the worship basket are also available. This offers children an opportunity to return to the story, reflect more deeply, and retell the story themselves

In Drama, the children are using their whole bodies to tell the Christmas story; knocking on doors to see if there’s room, placing the baby in the manger, and herding stuffed sheep.

“No room!”

Our library is packed with Christmas books. Some of our teacher favorites are A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith, Silent Night by Lara Hawthorne, The Story of Christmas illustrated by Jane Ray, A Child is Born by Margaret Wise Brown, Refuge by Anne Booth and Sam Usher, Christmas by Dick Bruna, and Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

How is your family preparing for Christ’s birth?

Do you have an advent calendar to open, or special books that tell the Christmas story?

Clara Buckley

Teacher, Rivers Class; Middle School Art

Clara Buckley’s teaching spans the ages of Mustard Seed School, from the youngest students in the preschool to students in the graduating class. She’s found many similarities between teaching three-year-olds and thirteen-year-olds!

As an art teacher who never enjoyed drawing, Ms Buckley’s hope is that each child she teaches discovers a way to create art that they enjoy, whether it be sculpture, printing, textiles, architectural drawing, or collage.

Ms. Buckley loves living in Jersey City, a place whose diversity and welcome for immigrants reflects her own family experience. When planning future travel destinations, art, food, and time with family are featured items on her list.

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