October 7, 2008

Prayer Is Needed This School Year For Our Teachers

Schools have begun another academic year aimed at educating youth that attend their educational institutions across this country. This in of itself is a daunting task based on the number of schools that are servicing students in greater numbers. These numbers continue to increase each year as birth rates rise among our youth. This is enough to give pause to pray for those that are children bringing children into the world. We as educators for the most part have no say so as to “who” we educate. We can only pray that we reach as many as we can to save them from a possible life of poverty and educational ignorance. This is not to say that parents are in dire straits economically and educationally, but because of the economic status of our country and geopolitical instability of our world, today everyone is affected by rising costs to maintain a lifestyle, feed a family and continue a quest for higher education.

How have teachers prepared for a new school year and to be a positive impact on the students in their classrooms? Teachers have worked this summer as in past summers preparing their classrooms for new and returning students. They participated in professional development training(s), workshops and symposiums in reading, math, classroom discipline, and science initiatives. They upgraded or renewed their ESOL certification. They have improved their technical skills on the computer using grade book programs, attendance databases, productivity applications, and mapping programs for student achievement. What other qualifying courses or programs must they learn to better service students that are preparing to come into schools nationwide, individually and collectively teacher must know how to teach children.

Teachers have worries and concerns too, remember they are parents, grandparents, and guardians themselves. As the saying goes, “teachers teach because they care”. Remember this before you judge or cast doubt on a teacher’s love for teaching or their caring for your child. Their ability to inspire, motivate and convince your child that education is the key to a happy existence is dependent on their ability as some Pastors or Ministers to reach your child where you cannot.
Did you realize that teachers:
Teachers feed their families with their earnings and sometimes your children as well. When was the last time you thanked a teacher for feeding your child when they did not have lunch money?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher when they combed your child’s hair because you did not have time to do it?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher when they paid for your child’s field trip because you just did not have the money?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher who gave your child a ride home when it was to cold to walk or raining and you had to work late?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher who tutored your child on their own time so they would not be retained again?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher who called to check on your child who had an illness?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher who purchased your child clothes because they wanted to be a blessing and you could not afford to?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher who purchased your child glasses because they could not see in their classroom and you could not afford to buy a new pair?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher who went out of their way to give you a smile, hug or prayed for you when you were in need?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher when they spoke to law enforcement or child services so you would not go to jail or lose your children?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher who gave you positive words about your child even though everyone else had given up on them?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher who invited you to church and your family?
When was the last time you thanked a teacher for inviting you and your family to dinner because food was short at your home?

When was the last time you thanked a teacher……………………..

These are just some of the things teachers deal with to help their students learn, to prepare your child for growth in the school year and help you as a parent. Remember teachers are teaching your child, how supportive are you in the educational process of your child? What have you as a parent done to prepare your child to be successful in the academic environment? Are your child’s shot records updated, do you know the bus routes with pickup and drop off times, do you know what time school will start and end? Who are your child’s teacher(s) that are entrusted in developing your child’s educational, emotional and social development?
Parents do sometimes loose focus on what school is about.School is not about who has the prettiest hair, cutest dress, tightest shoes or crunkest outfit. It is not about new lunch boxes, extra money for snacks or the best book bags. Unfortunately many children will not have these items because of socioeconomic circumstances, some will be dressed in the same outfits they had last school year, carry the same book bags and wearing the same shoes. School is not a fashion show, models runway, popularity contest, nor “look at my child and see how much money I spent” mentality.

Let us put things in perspective, my point as a parent and educator in a public school system and on the college level is, are your children prepared mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally for school? Are your children going to be respectful to the teacher and administrators or cause fearful glances and muffled prayers of deliverance from your child? Have you been doing your job as a parent preparing your child to have a successful school year? That should not be decided during the school year after progress reports, referrals, sticky notes, parent conferences, phone calls or from state assessments. When your child reports to school you as a parent should know what the school year holds for your child. Participating in the educational experience is what real parents do, they do not make excused, make up lies or avoid the teacher giving them the opportunity for a brief conference. Parents are you going to eat you lunch with your children this year, talk to your children about their day, talk to your child’s teacher(s) instead of cussing them out in front of their educational peers and their students because you as a parent are not doing your job to teach your child the right way?

How supportive are you as a parent going to be to the educational process instead of finding excuses for your child? This is a new year and a new challenge, a new journey to prepare your child for independence or do you want to take care of them when they get into their 40’s?

Fathers, take a day off from work to eat lunch with your kids at school, I do when I drive over an hour to see my children and talk to their teachers. Fathers check report cards, progress reports and be a positive role model to your children. Let them see you, see that you care, see the value that you place on education. Trust me, even if you come from work to visit your child for a few hours, look at the positive message you are sending to your children, and other children when you just say hello to them. If you can, volunteer time, don’t worry about your educational level or employment status, look at it as an opportunity to influence your child’s world from your experiences and how you value learning. Things are not always what it seems from outside the school window, you can be a blessing not only to your child, but that child that sees you visiting.

Prayers do work even if there is a separation of church and state. We all need guidance, wisdom and working together as a TEAM to build successful leaders for our future. Our children will be the future leaders: mayors, city council persons, lawyers, doctors, principals, guidance counselors, senators, and maybe even a president or vice president. How we support all our children now will determine how or if our communities will grow in the future and what direction they will take.

Yes, I will be in deep prayer for this school year for my educational peers with budget cutbacks in our school districts nationwide, lunch money increases for families already struggling to feed their children at home, cutbacks on school supplies, gas increases and unemployment rising.

Even an atheist may pray when hard times hits them and their families, but as for me and my family “We shall and will worship the Lord”.

Five things teachers need this school year…
1. FaithMark 11:22-24…."And Jesus answered saying to them, 'Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, "Be taken up and cast into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.'" 2. PersistenceLuke 11:5-10 says, "Then He said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, "Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him"; and from inside he answers and says, "Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything." I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.'"
3. Without Ceasing1 Thessalonians 5:17 says in a nut shell… "pray without ceasing." Ephesians 6:18 says, "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints."4. RighteousnessJames 5:16 says, "The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." 5. According to God's Will1 John 5:14-15 says, "And this is the confidence that we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him."

William Jackson, M.Ed."Copyright William Jackson All Rights Reserved 2008"

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