Reflection Time and Prayer of the Day Good Morning Brown Clee! Yesterday we thought about how important it is to develop the skill of listening – not just hearing, but actually actively listening and taking on board what you are listening to! This is a skill that is particularly important in school – as without actively listening and THINKING about what we hear, we are unable to learn. Today I want us to think about our own responsibility for learning and how we must learn to help ourselves with the learning process – as teachers will do the teaching, but the learning itself comes down to you, the Learner. Your teacher will now read out a story about a Builder – use your active listening skills and have a think about what message you can pick from the story. Bill had been in the carpentry trade for 50 years, ever since he left school as a young lad of 15. He had always been good with his hands and, from as far back as he could remember, he had always wanted to be a carpenter. He had learned his trade in a small joiner’s shop, and had spent his working life in the house-building business. He was now 65 years old and ready to retire. Bill planned to finish his work this month. ‘It’s time to hang up my tools and spend more time in the garden and with my grandchildren,’ he told Mr Towers, his employer for the last 40 years and his very good friend. Bill knew that he would miss his pay cheques, but he and his wife would get by. It was time to call it a day. Mr Towers was very sorry to see Bill go. He had been a great worker. ‘Please, Bill, will you work on just one more house, as a personal favour?’ he asked. ‘All right,’ Bill said, and began this last job. Mr Towers didn’t tell him who owned the house that he was working on. As time went by, it was clear that his heart was not in his work. He cut corners, and resorted to shoddy workmanship and inferior materials. He didn’t take the same time or care that he usually took. It was a sad way for such a skilful man to end his career. When Bill had finished his work, Mr Towers came to inspect the house. Then, to Bill’s surprise, he handed Bill the key to the front door. ‘This house is for you, Bill,’ he said. ‘It’s my gift to you for all your years of service.’ Imagine Bill’s surprise, and shock! What a shame! If only Bill had known that he was working on his own house, he might have done it all so differently! Now he had to live in a home with all the little mistakes, poor materials and short cuts that only he knew about. What did you think about whilst listening to the story? ….. The story is a bit like our lives. Every day, we are building something very important: our life. Sometimes, we put our very best efforts into what we do….sometimes we don’t and get distracted, lose motivation or concentration….sometimes we don’t always give our work our best effort. We become a bit slack and we make do with less than the best, just like Bill. It is so important to build our lives wisely, remembering that it is the only life we will ever build, and your time in primary school are where you are building your foundations for your futures – so as you go through the day and the weeks ahead, focus on what you can do to ensure that you are trying your best at all times! Prayer of the Day Dear God, I would like my life to be built on good, strong foundations. I would like to have a life that I can be proud of. Help me today to make wise choices, to have the right attitude and to do my best. Amen.