A New School Year
By Beula Postlewait
It is the beginning of a new school year. All of the materials stacked in the hallway so the floors could be cleaned and polished are back in the room. You may have some new supplies and materials that you need to find a place to store. You have new lists of students. You might even have a new curriculum which will present some challenges to you this year. (However, there are some schools where the teacher does not need to worry about polishing the floor, because the room has a dirt floor. The teacher does not need to worry about where to store teaching resources, because there are no resources. Read the article “What Resources Do You Need This Year?” by Joe Davis in the August edition of the NEW Newsletter.)
Every new school year begins with high hopes and high expectations. You hope this will be the best year for you and for your students. You want to be the best teacher or administrator you can be. You hope your students want to be good students who respect you and their fellow students.
As educators, we hope our students will remember us as people who cared for the students and worked creatively to help the students learn. I pray that teaching will never be just a job, a means to a paycheck, a source of insurance, or a way to keep busy. I pray that educators will be remembered for going the extra mile: enduring cold recess duty or bus duty, monitoring the lunch room, monitoring after-school tutoring or study hall, and helping with school fund-raisers.
Who is watching you as you teach or lead the school? The students, other staff members, perhaps a parent—all are watching what we do and the way we interact with students and staff. Our attitudes and actions are witnessed by those in our school. I pray that you will represent the words, the actions, and the attitudes of Jesus to everyone around you.
Chapter 11 of Hebrews tells of people of faith. It lists people like Abraham, Noah, Moses, Gideon, David, Samuel, and others. Verse 2 of chapter 12 tells of “a great cloud of witnesses” that surrounds us. It is our invisible cheering squad!
We know that before the end of the school year some difficult days may come. Certain students will rebel; some students will become discouraged and want to quit trying. You may become discouraged when students fail to do their best.
Use your best resource—God himself. He is waiting for you to ask for His help.
“He [the Lord] hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29, NIV).
“The prayer of a righteous man [or woman] is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b, NIV).
“…The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer” (1 Peter 3:12, NIV).
Take time to dedicate yourself and this year to God. Place this year in His hands, and ask Him to bless your faithful effort.
“Lord, bless the teachers, support staff, and administrators as they begin another school year. May Your presence shine through their conversations, their reactions, and their attitudes. Bless each student in the school. Bless especially those students who come from dysfunctional homes and those who come hungry and tired. May these students find at school adults with compassionate and loving hearts who will bring a sense of hope and satisfaction for their physical and emotional needs as well as their educational needs. In order for this to happen, the teachers and administrators need your help and strength. I pray that You will grant them this help and strength. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.