Well. Sweet teacher friend, how’s it going? How was your first week? I’m not sure about you, but mine was fast and furious and filled with students who will be a…. challenge. I hope you are adjusting to a regular routine and I hope that as you get to know your students that they will see the light of Christ shine through you. You know as well as I do that that the first few weeks of school can bring uncertainty for students who may be starting a new school or moving to a new campus within the same district. I am teaching 6th grade for the first time ever, and I was tickled pink with all of the precious faces trying to maneuver their way around new hallways filled with TONS of other students. I got really good at giving directions to the gym, cafeteria, band hall, and choir room. I cried over frustrations that seemed impossible to handle. I grappled and fumbled at how to reach students who seem to have so many emotional problems, scarred by things that I cannot fathom. I scarfed down salads in 30 minutes, and found myself collapsing at the end of every day wondering how to make the next day better.
And yet again, in the hustle and bustle of getting through each class, I found myself trying to teach more and form relationships less. And isn’t that why Christ came? So that we could have relationship with Him?
Last month, I wrote about having hope. How we all seem to have this “his mercies are new each morning” feeling after a long refreshing summer break. I most certainly lost sight of that hope more than a few times this week. I met my students and was pulled into the temptation of gossip and negativity. “They’re so low!” “They’re so needy!” “How am I ever going to teach them to….” After meeting the precious faces that I will gradually come to know on a personal level, I got overwhelmed and felt at times that all hope was already lost.
I need to remind myself… and maybe you… that this is what I prepared for. This is why I am a teacher. I need to remind myself that sometimes it is more important to get to know my students so that they will allow me into their lives. I need to remind myself in the midst of my hardest classes, in the midst of dealing with the most “hard to teach” children that they are created in His image.
God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us.
Isn’t that what it’s all about… showing others the love of Christ because He first loved us despite our faults, our secrets, our sin and shame? How can we form relationships with our students? How can we reach them in order to teach them? Love them. Love. Them. Despite their faults, their secrets, the baggage that they bring to our classroom. Love. Them. Unconditionally. Just as Christ loved us.
Here is this months printable scripture. I’m not sure where you are going to put it, but I’m posting one by my bathroom mirror to remind me as I get ready in the morning. I might even be so bold as to put one on my filing cabinet at school where I sit and make lesson plans. Cause I don’t know about y’all, but I need a constant reminder that the best classroom management plan that I could have is to walk into my classroom with God by my side everyday!
Father God, I pray for my students and I pray for the teacher who is reading this right now and I pray for her students to find peace as this new school year starts. Lord, there are so many new changes when a school year starts, that if we are not careful can leave us in a tailspin and can leave us looking for solutions that are not your solutions. I pray over challenges that will arise in the month of September as teachers across the country begin to form relationships with new students. I pray that You will present yourself in any situation that seems unchangeable and un-fixable or unteachable. I pray that You maximize our time as teachers, I pray that we plan with You and our students in mind as we get to know them. Most importantly, I pray that You constantly remind us as teachers that You knew our students when they were in the womb, that You created them, that You love them. And I pray that you teach us as teachers to have patience, that you help us to show them love, to help us form relationships that will ultimately lead them to You. In Jesus name, Amen!