The new school year is right around the corner and with it comes the excitement of new school supplies, new classes, new students, and a little bit of worry.
I have a degree in Music Education and I taught in the public schools both in New York and North Carolina for many years. I eventually left teaching in the public schools for a variety of reasons. But my education, my experience and love of teaching, and my desire to help others have never left me. These are the best things I have taken away from my teaching experience.
When it came to putting my son in school, I decided that homeschooling was the best choice for us for a few different reasons. My son is six and we are starting first grade in a few weeks. I am a nervous wreck!
My classroom is no longer filled with 80 middle schoolers all singing and learning music theory together. I am no longer surrounded by hundreds of students each week. I teach one little boy and that scares me more than the hundreds of kids I used to teach.
I feel such a huge responsibility in teaching Pants (my nickname for my son). I am responsible for teaching him to read and write. I am responsible for the adult he will grow up to be. Sometimes, it is overwhelming, yet I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I am his teacher.
I am molding his mind.
I am giving him a future.
If you are a teacher about to face the new school year, I have compiled a list of eight prayers that you can pray over yourself and your classroom. Whether you teach one, two, or hundreds of students a year, you have a great responsibility and privilege.
Allow The Lord to guide your path and direct your year. He will never fail.
I remember days teaching in the public school that felt anything but peaceful. Deadlines, meetings, parent conferences . . . it can be stressful. Whether you are a school teacher or a homeschooling parent, we all need peaceful days.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
In the middle of all of the noise of the school day, keep your mind fixed on The Lord and His Word and you will be kept in perfect peace.
For Loving Others.
Sometimes it is hard to love. It is hard to love the student who is always acting up. It is hard to love your own child when he is being defiant and grumpy. Don't you find at times it is hard to love others, but it is easier to love The Lord? Matthew 25:35-39 explains it perfectly . . .
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
When you are finding it difficult to love a student, a coworker, your child, or a class, remember that when you love them, you are really loving The Lord.
For Overwhelming Times
Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
On days when you feel particularly overwhelmed with the stress of teaching, remember The Lord has already gone before you. He is with you, right by your side holding you up. When it comes to being overwhelmed with the work of being a teacher in this day and age, don’t worry or fear. The Lord is going before you surrounding you on every side!
Unfortunately, schools can be dangerous places. School shootings, gangs, violence . . . all found in our schools. Our students need protection, but so do our teachers.
The teachers are the first line of defense in our schools and they need our prayers.
Every day before I entered my classroom, I prayed this Scripture over my day,
The Lord shall preserve me from all evil; He shall preserve my soul. The Lord shall preserve my going out and my coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore. (Psalm 121:7-8)
Pray over your day, over your students, over your classroom, over your school. Pray for God’s protection and He will hear you.
Teachers have to make decisions every day that effects not only themselves but their students. Your decisions can make or break your school year.
In 1 Kings 3, The Lord tells Solomon He will grant his hearts desire. Can you imagine God coming to you and giving you whatever you’d like? Solomon asked The Lord for wisdom and The Lord granted it. (1Kings 3:6-10)
This year, before you make a decision, ask The Lord for His wisdom.
James 3:13-18 speaks of the wisdom that is from God. It is a wisdom that is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:13-18).
When you make your decisions this year, makes sure that you are using the wisdom of God and not a knee-jerk decision that could have negative effects.
You can do this! You can have an amazing year. You can stay strong. You can stay focused . . . when you put on the strength of The Lord. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
You can do all things this year! Christ is right beside you giving you HIS strength!
Teaching can be confusing. We don’t know which way to turn some days. We don’t know how to get through to a student who doesn’t understand. Perhaps, we can’t see the next step clearly or we are frustrated as to how you can reach a child.
Remember to not put your trust in man or man’s wisdom. I would dare to say, don’t even put all of your trust in yourself. We are often swayed by emotions and situations.
Instead, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
If you lose sight of why you are teaching. If you being to say on those cold February days, “Why am I even doing this?”. When you feel weary in well-doing, remember that God called you to teach for a purpose.
You are changing lives, even if it doesn’t appear so on the surface. You are reaching them. You are getting through.
If you are doubting your path and purpose as you go into this school year, remember, you are training up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
I pray that this year is full of fulfilled dreams. I pray your school year is full of protection, wisdom, and strength. I pray that this school year, you become the teacher that God has called you to be and I pray that you change lives for His glory.