What If

“What If”

Dave Bentley (1967-)

What if all the stories we’ve been told

Fairy tales and nursery rhymes

Were played out on the world stage

Not just imagined in our minds

And the characters, heroes, and villains

Lived among us every day

What a remarkable world we would live in

It would be a wonderful place


There’d be star crossed lovers

Holding hands across the street

Kissing beneath the moonlight

Whispering words that are so sweet

While evil henchmen hunted

For some treasure they could steal

’til the brave hero captures them

A life of fantasy, a life that’s real.


The eyes and ears of little children

Stirred by those Once Upon a Times

To envision worlds of wonder

To transcend the bonds of time

Gazing ahead unto tomorrow

Leaning back toward yesterday

Resting still within the present

Living their story out today


There would be the swoosh of dragon wings

Cutting the silence of the night

And a princess trapped in a tower

Awaiting the arrival of a brave knight

Enchanted mirrors reflecting faces

Of the folks who search for fame

WHile sorcerers and witches gather

In a secret hidden cave


The things that dream are made of

Could be the things that life becomes

If imaginary creatures

Made our world their home

And the cheerful glee of children

Would be heard near and far

As fantasy meets reality

To see things as they really are.


“What If” by Dave Bentley (2016)


A Note Home from Mr. B.

Image result for floss dance animated
Hi All,
Once in a while, I feel the need to send a note reminding parents to be aware of what kids are watching and doing at home.  This is not intended as a judgment of your family values, but as a caution related to how those influences translate into behavior at school.  Please believe that I want the best for your student and their experience in our school.
That said, there are two particular things that are showing a significant influence on student behavior in the classes where I co-teach and in the school as a whole.  The YouTube sensation Jeffy the Rapper shows up in phrases and gestures by students as they mimic his behavior.  I encourage you to read the attached webpage (linked here) related to how Jeffy’s influence has a negative impact on students.
The second is the uber-popular video game Fortnite.  Here is a link to a page related to FORTNITE PAGE.  The challenge is something that becomes so consuming for students it that it tends to monopolize their thinking and leaves little room for effort related to learning and academics.
I would not presume to tell you what to do.  I simply want you to be aware of the influences of outside elements within the school.  There will always be something, PopCulture will filter in somehow.  The more adults are aware of these things, the better prepared they will be to guide students through those influences.
Enjoy the Journey,
Dave Bentley (dbentley@ssdvt.org)
Teacher on 6th Grade Team
Riverside Middle School
Springfield, Vermont
(802) 885-8436

Make Mistakes

If you have made a mistake raise your hand.  That’s right, all of us should have our hands up, perhaps with some enthusiastic waving because we have all made mistakes, and some of them have been doozies.  Let’s explore a few other questions.

  • Has a mistake ever made you quit?
  • Has a mistake ever cost you more than you expected?
  • Has a mistake ever hurt yourself or people you care about?

It’s likely that we all answered in the affirmative with those questions.  These and other reasons are why we fear making mistakes.  We don’t like to be wrong.  We don’t like to feel as if we have failed.  It can be embarrassing.  It can hurt.  It can cost.  As a result we may avoid situations where we could potentially make a mistake.  We are particularly wary of circumstances where mistakes might be public.  It might be that we don’t raise our hands in class.  Perhaps we avoid volunteering for committees or teams where we work or worship.  Maybe we have refused to host the annual family reunion.  Fear of mistakes and failure can keep us from a number of things.  It may be that avoiding mistakes and the possibility of failure has cost us opportunities.

Let’s explore a couple of other questions:

  • Can you think of a way that you learned something from a mistake?
  • Can you think of a time that a mistake lead you in different, and ultimately better direction?

A few years ago we were traveling through the Smokey Mountains on a family trip.  I had taken a wrong turn, and ended up well off course.  However, we found a number of interesting things along that accidental detour that made the mistake worth making.  Another mistake I recall is a dish that my mother once made with or Thanksgiving leftovers.  It was supposed to be soup, but she had accidentally doubled parts of the recipe.  What resulted is a delicious casserole that we dubbed Turkey Mistake.  To this day it remains one of our favorite post holiday dishes.

The challenge for us is to view mistakes through a different lens.  To see them as opportunities and not as endings.  The clip below of an acronym for mistakes gives us some sage advice for positive ways of viewing our missteps.

Image result for growth mindset acronym

The difference is determined by whether we will permit the mistakes we make to stress us or strengthen us.  It’s not that the mistakes will become less painful, costly, or embarrassing.  Rather, it is that we would recognize mistakes as a natural (and intended) part of learning and growing as human beings.

Don’t be afraid to mess up, you might discover that the mistake you make leads to even better things than you initially planned to accomplish.

Emotional-Behavioral Resources

Dave Bentley – Emotional & Behavioral Issues in Special Education

Fall, 2017

This blog post contains resources related to Special Education and working with students who may have emotional or behavioral challenges.  The resources are intended to provide teachers and other staff with links to sites and information that assist in meeting the needs of students, establishing supports for students, and tracking progress of students.  If you are a teacher or administrator please leave a comment with other resources that you have found helpful. 


Image result for PBIS

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support

The Website indicates that PBIS intends to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools and other agencies by improving social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students.  While there are benefits for students with special needs, there are also benefits for the school as a whole.


PBIS WORLD – http://www.pbisworld.com/

PBIS World is a comprehensive and invaluable resource of forms and information related to MTSS and the implementation of a PBIS strategy for classrooms and schools.  I encourage people to spend some time exploring the site and learning how to navigate through the materials available for the three tiers of support.


Image result for responsive classroom

Responsive Classroom – https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/ 

Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to education that focuses on the strong relationship between academic success and social-emotional learning (SEL). The Responsive Classroom website provides links to training, information, and resources for implementing the strategy in the school and classroom.  While primarily employed with younger students, middle level learners also can benefit from the structure and practices of Responsive Classroom.


Image result for forms

A Site for Behavioral Forms

 Documents for a Systematic Behavioral Analysis (FBA)

Image result for articles

Articles Related to EB Issues:

Image result for videos





  Dave Bentley is a Special Educator in Springfield, Vermont.

RMS 6th Grade Math Notes


  • If students can define and find these they will do fine:
    • Mean – average (add and divide the sum by the number of data points)
    • Median – what is the exact middle of the data points when in order?
    • Mode – what data point(s) occurs the most (MODE=MOST)
    • Range – What is the difference between the highest and lowest data point?
    • Statistical and Non-Statistical Questions
      • Statistical – more than one possible correct answer (nosey questions)
      • Non-Statistical – only one possible correct answer (facts)
    • Simple Graphs of data (Histograph, Dot points)

Meet Mr. Bentley

  • Dave Bentley10624605_10205706768409705_5317929050308283420_n.jpg
  • 6th Grade Special Educator
  • Riverside Middle School
  • Springfield, Vermont

Many of you may have become acquainted with me through the years as I have worked within the Springfield School District as a substitute teacher.  In addition, I  volunteered for several years alongside my wife, Mrs. Bentley, at Elm Hill in her classroom and with after-school drama programs.  It has been a great experience working with some of the highest quality teachers and Para educators in education.

Last year I completed my Masters Degree in teaching with an internship at Riverside working with the 7th Grade team teaching English with Mr. Vandivere.  This Fall I am honored to rejoin the team at Riverside full-time where I will be working with the 6th grade team as their special education teacher.  

There are many things that I would like people to know about me, but most importantly I want you to be assured of my commitment to your students. I love working with young adolescents in the middle school and do not take lightly the level of trust that you have placed in me and the school to care for and educate your children.  Having the opportunity to help students entering middle school make the transition to a different school and system of education is both challenging and exciting.  I approach my role as a calling, which is more than a career choice or simply a job.  During these pivotal years it is my goal to provide students with the tools they will need to find success at the middle school and in the years beyond.

Please feel free to connect with me if I can be of assistance to you, or if you have questions concerning your student’s education.  If I do not know the answer to your question I will work with you to find the answers you need.

Looking forward to the Adventure of the School Year,

Dave Bentley


(802) 885-8490

Pastor’s Notes for FBCW–August

Image result for wallingford church vermont banner

Pastor Dave’s Notes

Hi Everyone! I pray that the final few weeks of summer will be blessed as we prepare for the coming of cooler weather, and a return to the normalcy that accompanies the school year.  Over the past few days I have spent considerable time praying for the church, for each of you individually, and for myself as we head toward the fall and the kick-off of the various ministries we engage in during the school year.

Make a Note of Things Coming Up

OLYMPIANS MEETING – August 19th after Church

Labor Day – September 3rd – will mark the return to our regular schedule with Sunday School at 9:30 and worship at 11:00. (Sunday school will resume the following week).

September 10th

· Sunday School Resumes

· Olympians Resumes

September 17th – Back to Church Sunday (more info will follow)

· Begin by praying for people you can invite.

Image result for sermon series end times

October-November Sermon Series on The End Times

As we continue the series through the Gospel of Matthew we approach Jesus’ teaching on the End Times, commonly referred to as “The Olivet Discourse.” (Matthew 24-25).  These teachings invite a serious look at the state of the world and an examination of our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.  In addition, the coming events ought to spur us into action as evangelical believers, for the population of people who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior will face Him as their judge and be sentenced to eternal condemnation.  This series of messages will be a mix of information and passion as we rejoice in our position in Christ and mourn the lost outside of Christ.

With Paul I State:

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:3-5


Pastor Dave

It is Time to Turn Back



Bloodshed, violence, hatred, people displaying such horrible darkness, this is what happens when the world turns its back on the God of heaven and earth. We should not be surprised. What we should do…what we must do…is repent and return. Notice what Psalm 68 declares for the people who turn to God and the people who live in rebellion:

Psalm 68:1-6

  • let those who hate Him FLEE before Him.
  • As smoke is driven away, so DRIVE THEM AWAY;
  • As wax melts before the fire,
  • But let the righteous BE GLAD; let them EXULT before God;
  • Yes, let them REJOICE WITH GLADNESS.
  • Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
  • Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts,
  • Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.
    • · A father to the fatherless offers protection and provision.
    • · A judge for the widows is an advocate for the defenseless
  • Is God in His holy habitation.
  • God makes A HOME FOR THE LONELY;
    • · Home means family, and family is the remedy for loneliness
    • · Prisoners who have been held wrongly by strong powers.
    • · A stark contrast to the promised land and eternal heaven.
  • (New American Standard Bible, emphasis added)


Dear people, please turn to God.

  • · Turn to Him for Salvation in Jesus the Messiah!
  • · Turn to His Spirit for guidance and wisdom!
  • · Turn to His Word for revelation and truth!
  • · Turn to Him in prayer for daily walking with Him!
  • · Turn to His Church for instruction and fellowship!

This Sunday, find a church where you can learn about God and His plan for you. Find a church that preaches and teaches from the Bible. Find a church that calls you to prayer and leads you in worship.

If you are in the area, I invite you to Wallingford Baptist Church in Wallingford, Vermont. We meet at 10:00 on Sundays. We would be happy to welcome you.


Pastor Dave

I Believe…


I Believe
Romans 10:7-13
8 What does it say? ” THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heart”– that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, ” WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him;


Read the Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

The Difference Between a Large Map and the Inset on a Page

A Large Scale Map

  • Gives all the details of topography
    • Swamps
    • Bogs
    • Cliffs
    • Climbs
    • Etc

A Small Scale Map

  • Gives Smaller Details
    • Trails
    • Places to Stay along the Way
    • Interesting Sites to stop and view

The Bible and Creed

  • The Bible is a million word Large Map – Gives all the Details
  • The Creed is the Inset on the Page – Marks out the Trails

Review from Introduction

  • Creeds Define the Faith
  • Creeds Defend the Faith
  • Creeds Declare the Faith

Another Consideration:

Creeds were originally designed to be a statement of faith for a person who was about to be baptized. Over time these baptismal creeds were incorporated into the worship service for recitation by the entire congregation as an expression of their common faith. Later, creeds were used by a communion of churches to express their common understanding of the Christian faith.Because the Apostles’ Creed is a summary of Biblical truth, we should study it and be edified by the Biblical truths it contains and conveys.

The Crux of the Creed – I BELIEVE!

What are Some Things You Have Believed In?

  • Santa Claus
  • Tooth Fairy
  • Ghosts
  • Particular Political Ideology
  • The Undying Love of a high school Girl/Boyfriend

Many of these beliefs have let us down and fallen short in the crunch.

In Reality, those beliefs don’t require much investment or commitment.

What about God? Jesus? The Holy Spirit? The Church? Heaven?


“I Believe” is Personal

  • First Person Singular “I”
    • I cannot speak for anyone else but myself.
      • My wife
      • My children
      • My congregation
    • Some creeds begin as a collective statement “We Believe”
    • The Apostles’ Creed Keeps it Personal, what I myself Believe

“I Believe” is Professional (It is a Profession of Faith)

  • Stirred to a Declaration

Matthew 16:13-16 (NASB77)
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
15 He •said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

  • Who do THEY Say I am?
    • A general overview of popular opinion
    • Not committing anyone to a particular belief
    • John the Baptist (recently killed by Herod)
    • Elijah (Who didn’t die but was transported off the planet)
    • Jeremiah (perhaps because Jesus was moved with compassion)
    • One of the Prophets (A general reference to teaching/miracles)
  • Who do YOU say I am?
    • Now it gets personal.
    • I picture some squirming, because people squirm when challenged
    • Peter rises to the challenge with a Passionate Profession
      • You ARE…(not might be or could be)
      • You are THE CHRIST…
      • You are the Christ, THE SON…
      • You are the Christ, the Son of THE GOD…
      • You are the Christ, the Son of the God, THE LIVING ONE.


“I Believe” is Powerful

  • Believe/Faith – Pistos (gk)
    • Complete Dependence
    • Complete Reliance
    • Complete Trust
    • Another way of stating this is: “I am believing into…” (a common Gk. Phrase)
      • I’m leaning into God…dependence and trust
      • I’m leaning into Jesus…dependence and trust
      • I’m leaning into the Holy Spirit…dependence and trust
      • I’m leaning into the Church…dependence and trust
      • I’m leaning into Heaven…dependence and trust

Think back to what we once believed in:

  • Santa
  • Tooth Fairy
  • High School Sweetie

There may have been a measure of faith and trust, but not UTTER DEPENDENCE

  • I believe” is a POWERFUL Personal Profession of Utter Dependence

“I Believe” is Purposeful

  • Think About the ways we Demonstrate Faith Daily
    • I Demonstrate my faith in my car by turning the key.
    • I Demonstrate my faith in a chair by sitting upon it.
    • I Demonstrate my faith in a step by stepping on it
    • I Demonstrate my faith in a plane by purchasing a ticket.
    • I Demonstrate my faith in a physician my making an appointment.
  • I Demonstrate my Faith in God by looking ahead to Heaven
    • Something only He could Accomplish
    • Something only He could Make Possible
    • Something only He can Complete

A creed is a statement of personal belief. That is why it is so important that you know what it is that you are affirming. It does no good if you recite the words of the Apostles’ Creed but you don’t know what it really is that you are reciting, or worse, that what you are reciting is not an affirmation of what you truly believe.

A mid-western church rented a theater to watch The Passion of the Christ on opening weekend. Afterwards they gathered for dinner, discussion, and prayer. The pastor later returned home in a somber and contemplative mood, deeply reflecting upon the sacrifice of Christ.

When he opened his mail that night, the first letter was from a local church, inviting him to visit their “Special Community” They listed the ways they were unique:

  • No religious dogma: We encourage the freedom of individual belief.
  • A humanist view of life: Our faith is based on celebrating the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
  • Warm, accessible services: Our Sunday services typically include a mix of readings, music, moments of meditation or contemplation, and a sermon.
  • Our children’s religious education program: We teach our kids to be accepting of differing beliefs and the importance of each person seeking his or her own truth.
  • We study the world’s major religions and draw on the core values of each faith tradition.

“So,” the letter concluded, “if you’re looking for a congregation that cherishes freedom of belief and opinion, with a warm sense of community and fellowship, please visit us.”

The pastor had just watched the horrific suffering of Jesus and heard him say, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Hours later he opened an invitation to visit a group where truth doesn’t matter. The contrast was overwhelming.

Truth does matter. It matters a great deal what you and I believe.


Pastor Dave

I Believe: A Look at the Creed


2 Timothy 1:12-14
12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; FOR I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED AND I AM CONVINCED THAT HE IS ABLE TO GUARD WHAT I HAVE ENTRUSTED TO HIM UNTIL THAT DAY. 13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.



I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;

the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic** church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Introducing The Creed

· A Basic Statement of Belief

· Needed due to false teachings from outside

· Needed due to false doctrine rising within

Acts 20:28-30
28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

The Word Creed—Latin Credo—“I Believe”

Why We Need a Creed

· Every Church requires some form of faith confession.

o Consider the Constitution of our Church

§ “Having been lead as we believe by the Holy Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

o Each of us have a creed that declares what we believe

§ Sometimes this creed is spoken

§ More often this is a creed that is displayed in actions

· The Churches that do not have a creed are in Danger

o They do not have a foundation for their faith.

o They do not have a theological filter against error

The Purpose of the Creeds of Faith

Creeds Are Designed to Define the Faith
Church historian Philip Schaff wrote in his book The Creeds of Christendom that “the first object of creeds was to distinguish the Church from the world, from Jews and heathen, afterwards orthodoxy from heresy, and finally denomination from denomination.”

· Has anyone ever asked why you are a Baptist?

· Have you ever stopped to consider why you are a Baptist?

I tell people that I am a Christian by birth (being born again) and a Baptist by Choice, discovering a church that believed and practiced what I believe.

· Consider for a moment that question. Why are you a Baptist?

Creeds Are Designed to Defend the Faithful

· As already mentioned, Creeds defend believers from

o False Teaching

o Doctrinal Deviation

· This Leads to Some Disturbing Questions”

o How can a Christian convert to a cultic religion?

o How can a Church with a strong heritage turn from truth?

o How can a pastor or church neglect teaching/preaching Bible?

§ The people have requested that their ears be tickled.

· This Also Provides an Encouraging Truth

o A Creed (i.e. The Apostle’s Creed) can defend the truth.

§ This simple statement addresses false/cultic claims

§ This simple statement addresses objections

§ This simple statement addresses our own doubts

Creeds Are Designed to Declare to the World

· How many of you are preachers?

o How many of you are called to preach the Gospel?

o How many of you are called to declare Christ to others?

o So…how many of you are preachers?

· The Creed Becomes a Simple Sermon

o As you will see through this series, it is a systematic message.

o As you will learn through this series, it is a simple message.

o As you will learn through this series it is a salvation message.

· Next time you’re Asked what you Believe…Remember the Creed


What is your creed? Could you write it down?

You will be able to before this summer is over.