Praying for Teachers in the 2019-2020 School Year
When I first moved to Durham to start my student-teaching semester of college, I came with a long list of experiences that had been designed to prepare me. Despite my qualifications on paper, I wasn’t ready for the realities of teaching.
I think nothing can truly prepare you for the moment you step into a classroom and become a teacher. No amount of lesson planning can equip you to navigate the challenges and joys that come with teaching a diverse class of students and the unique needs and experiences they bring with them.
As we prepare to go back to school, I know that in my own strength, I’m not equipped for all that this year will bring. This profession has shown me that I cannot do it on my own. There have been numerous times where I’ve reached the point of complete exhaustion, but God has provided the grace that I need in each moment. He promises to provide what we need when we ask.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
With the 2019-2020 school year approaching, I ask on behalf of all of us teachers (and our future students) for your prayers. Listed below are some specific ways you can pray for us throughout the year.
Pray for us to have wisdom and to effectively share that with our students.
Wisdom is more than knowledge; it is knowing how to apply knowledge to life’s situations and challenges. As teachers, we make thousands of decisions a day. Pray that we would have the wisdom for these decisions and how to meet our students’ needs. Pray also that our students would not only gain knowledge in our classrooms but that they would gain the wisdom they need to make the right decisions in life.
Pray for us to have patience (and grace for ourselves in the moments we run out).
If you’ve spent any amount of time with students, you understand the need for patience. The day-to-day job of teaching (and the additional hours spent lesson planning, grading, and in meetings) requires an amount of patience. Pray for God to provide us with His patience but also the ability to give ourselves grace and forgiveness in the moments where we seem to lose it and don’t respond in love.
Pray for the resources our schools need to effectively serve our students.
The reality is that many schools across NC struggle to afford the basic supplies and retain the personnel that they need. Not only are teachers often required to purchase the school supplies their students need, but there is also a shortage of essential personnel and qualified teachers in the public-school system. (Speaking from personal experience, I have known multiple teachers who have completely left teaching due to the lack of support from their schools and the burden of the workload. In my first year of teaching, seven teachers quit halfway through the school year. This lack of teachers puts a strain on everyone.)
Pray that the NC government would see the need to fund our schools with the resources they need to serve our students. Pray that God would move to provide the supplies, staff, and resources for all schools across our state.
Pray for us to love our students and their families, as God loves us.
For many students, teachers are the adults that they spend the most time with throughout the week - even more so than their parents. Pray especially for these students that they would feel loved and known by God. Pray that these students and their families would see and feel Christ’s unconditional, saving love through our interactions with them. Pray that when we as teachers feel burnt out, God’s love would prove greater.
Pray about how you can be involved.
Finally, pray about how God is calling you and your family to be involved in your local school community. As we grow as a church into our mission of “Reach the Triangle. Reach the nations.” It is important to consider how God is calling us to support this essential part of our community.
Whether it is donating supplies, volunteering your time to read with students who need extra help, making copies for teachers, proctoring during state testing, helping fill Backpack Buddies for students who are living in food insecurity, or considering where to enroll your children for school, each way is important and impacts our community.
If you’re not sure how to be involved in your local public, charter, private, etc. school, a good place to begin is by contacting the school and asking what their needs are. Also, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your prayers.