The Message that Matters


"The Message that Matters" by Sheri Wohlfert

Copyright 2019 Lisa Julia Photography/Bayard Inc. All rights reserved.

A creative bulletin board solution that touches the hearts of students and teachers.

By Sheri Wohlfert

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Many years ago when I was a college student, I remember choosing secondary education instead of elementary. I had several reasons, one being the number of bulletin boards in an elementary classroom vs the number in a high school room. God has a great sense of humor, because a few decades later he led me to an elementary classroom and, as I suspected, it’s loaded with bulletin boards. No amount of time on Pinterest can make me feel truly comfortable about them all, so I set out to find a creative solution to the problem. 

I teach upper-elementary students and one thing I know for certain, they are capable and willing and delighted to do “extra” stuff when given the opportunity. I spend a lot of time thinking I know what my students need but more often than I care to admit they surprise me. After some pondering I found a solution to both the overwhelming number of bulletin boards to fill and the creative energy of my middle lovelies. 

Every two weeks the “Message That Matters” board changes, compliments of the next duo on the list. The format is quite simple. The pair of students ponder and pray about things that matter to them. It could be something they are worried about or excited about or wishing to celebrate. They are given a full size poster board and they put the message together. Each poster has to contain Scripture or a saint quote that addresses the message. The embellishment is up to them. Some are black and white and powerful, and some are full of color and photos. Some are funny and some are profound. And yes, in case you’re wondering, some weigh three pounds because they are so laden with “goodies” — but each one is amazing in its own way. The creators include the Scripture or quote in daily prayer each of the days their message hangs on the board and on the last day the message is up, each student writes about the message in their prayer journal. It amazes me how the same set of words and images can hit hearts in such a different way. 

What started as a creative way to get me out of a little work ended up being such a window to the hearts of my middle lovelies. It turns out, they are full of surprises and sometimes all it takes is a new message to open a window to the things on their mind.

Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker, and teacher who writes from Michigan. She uses her sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.

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