Asian Chicken Salad: Similarities between Sunday School and urban school teaching

To all the Sunday school teachers I know –  your work, sacrifice, and effort is amazing, and blessed by our Father above.  To my beautiful Sunday School kids – thank you for your smile every single week.

Last week, as I sat in my sweltering Sunday School classroom and tried to get my class of 16 three to five year olds under control, I was instantly aware of how my years teaching in an urban school (which served the most under served communities of San Francisco) and my suburban Sunday school classroom had in common.  I do believe God used my years as a high school English teacher to prepare me for my challenges with three to five year olds in Sunday school.

This is what I realized.  In both my urban school and Sunday school…
Kids like to put their feet up on their desks.  Sometimes they like to take their socks off too.
It’s hard to get everyone to pay attention to you.  Sometimes you have to resort to some unusual tactics.  Humor generally goes very far in grabbing attention.  So does making crazy faces.
Kids know when you care and respond to your caring.  Compliments on their clothing always make them smile.
When kids don’t get their way, there is often times pouting, throwing of objects, or a child lying on the ground having a fit.  (This happened often in high school believe it or not.)
Well-rested children make better students.  Students that did not sleep well the night before often disrupt the lesson or will fall asleep right in class.
When kids are bored, they go to the bathroom.  This is just as disruptive in high school as it is in Sunday school.
Students love their teachers to bits and pieces. 
I’m exhausted at the end of a lesson.
There is oftentimes a lack of appreciation by parents for the efforts of teachers.
And finally, teachers aren’t teaching for the fabulously high pay or the prestige – they’re teaching because they believe that kids can be taught and there is wisdom that they have to impart to the students.
God uses all things for the benefit of His kingdom.  My crazy years teaching high school trained me for teaching my 3 to 5 year olds.  And even though I’m tired out, tuckered out, and oftentimes VERY sweaty after class, I’m grateful for the opportunity to use my training to serve my beautiful students and God.
After my teaching is over, the first thing I often think about is lunch.  I’m usually starving and last week, during the crazy-heatwave-with-no-air-conditioning-day, I wanted a cold salad.  I wanted something refreshing and reviving, and had I had the ability, this is what I would have made.
As it is, I ate it three times today.  Once for my lunch, once for snack, and once for dinner.  I just love all the textures, flavors, and overall crunchity crunch of the salad.  If you are looking for your typical, sweeter Asian chicken salad, this is not it.  This has more complex notes with the lime juice and fish sauce, and is a bit of a nod towards a Vietnamese salad.  
Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad
Serves 6
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons (or less) sambal oelek (chili sauce – this controls the heat)
1 teaspoon fish sauce 
1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
Kosher salt
6 cups of shredded cabbage
3 medium carrots, peeled, shredded
3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
2 cups baby spinach, thinly sliced (roll up leaves and julienne)
6 scallions, chopped
½  cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
½ cup sliced almonds (optional)
2  tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Whisk together vegetable oil, lime juice, sauce, honey, sambal, fish sauce and ginger.  Taste and add salt if desired.
In a large bowl, add cabbage, carrots, chicken, baby spinach, scallions, cilantro, almonds, and sesame seeds.  Pour dressing over and toss.  Serve immediately.  
Printable recipe
Definitely a favorite kitchen tool of mine.  Been using it to whisk dressings.

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