It is almost time! In just a few short hours the hallways of your school will be buzzing with herds of students. I wanted to send you all, those who are friends and those whom I’ve never met, a quick letter to encourage you. As you know, what you do each and every day is literally shaping a generation. Your classroom will be filled with different people each with their own set of dreams and each with their own set of values. As I see it a huge portion of your success throughout the year is determined by your ability to see where each student is currently and then working hard to help them move forward. This is no small task so I admire you for your commitment to teach and invest in our future.
I want you to know that a good number of us parents are praying for you. We may not always remember to tell you but, for those of us that follow Jesus, we see you as a divine relationship that God has created in the lives of our children. Here are a few things that I am praying specifically over you as the new school year begins:
One of the most difficult things I do during the course of the school year is help my children with their homework. Typically this isn’t because the homework is too difficult but because I do not have the patience to help them understand. Although I teach as a profession, I am not a teacher of children. I am praying that you will be granted a supernatural ability to patiently instruct even when my kids have a really hard time understanding.
Every child that walks through your doors is filled with dreams and wonder. Although I believe children should take their academic career seriously, I am praying that you give them room to breathe and dream big dreams. My son who is 9 years old wants to be a scientist. We love that he has a vision for his future. But do you want to know what we love even more? That he wants to be the first scientist to invent a potion that will not only enable humans to fly but will also open up a portal that will take them to various places around the world! I am praying that you will be useful in prodding him along in his education while also giving him the freedom to dream. Their hopes, dreams, ideas and imaginations are part of your stewardship and I am asking God to give you the ability to steward those things well.
You have been called to work serve in a career that doesn’t overwhelm you with encouragement. From state mandates, district goals, student differences to your own personal life you have a lot of things taking from you with very few things investing in you. I am praying that students, fellow teachers and parents will take the time to encourage you throughout the year.
Most of us have a really hard time believing our child could ever cause any trouble at school. There will be times throughout the year when you have to have hard conversations with parents that have unfortunately placed their children on the thrones of their hearts. When you tell them their child is disruptive, argumentative, violent, or strong willed there is a good chance you will see where those genes originated. I am praying that you will be able to lovingly, graciously yet boldly speak the truth in love and that you will be sheltered from any fallout as a result of your candor.
This may seem like a “backhanded compliment” type of statement so I apologize in advance if it comes across that way. I am praying that you are able to see the bigger picture of your student’s lives. I understand there are times when bringing work home from school is necessary. I definitely expect that my children will need to study for tests at home. The awareness I am alluding to is simply an awareness that you have them the bulk of the day. There are a number of after school activities in which we want our children to participate. That said, we are not an activity oriented family…..we are a family-oriented family so I am praying this over you so we can continue to enjoy the time we have with our kids once they get home from school.
All too often, in many professions, people start with more passion than they finish. As the school year begins there is a great deal of excitement and energy. The days will become longer and the weeks will stretch into months. My prayer is that you will start the year with an incredible amount of energy and passion but that you would also finish the race with strength and resolve.
If you are not a follower of Jesus then know I am praying daily that you would see His love and receive His grace. If you are a follower of Jesus I am praying one more thing over you as the new year begins: that you will recognize God can do more for your students than you can do for your students. Recognizing this as truth will move you toward praying for your students daily. I am asking God to move you up and down the aisles of desk in your classroom praying over the students that will fill those seats. I am praying that you will be an intercessor for our children. I am praying that in you they will see the light and life of Christ.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Isaac Newton where he says “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” My ultimate prayer for you is that you will have strong shoulders. My children are climbing up to see what is ahead of them and I thank God for you and your resolve to help them see further than they would ever be able to see on their own.