As the daughter of an educator, I have a great respect for the profession. I know that teaching is both a very stressful and extremely meaningful job, and I also know that your child's teacher will play a major role in his or her life this year. Here are a few things I have learned from growing up in a teacher's home:
- Commit now to be a team with your child's teacher. You are your child's biggest advocate. The teacher wants to be his or her advocate too (or she would be in a less stressful, higher paying job). Build a relationship on the commonality that you both want your child to succeed.
- Respect the teacher's time. Ask them what form of communication works best for them: emails, phone calls, appointments, etc. Make sure the teacher has a good e-mail address and phone number for you and knows that you are open to communication.
- Never talk negatively about a teacher in front of your child. Demonstrating your respect for a teacher will set a good example for your child.
- Give the teacher space to teach your child. While being involved and available is extremely important to your child's success, smothering your child's teacher with endless inquiries handicaps their ability to freely respond to your child's needs.
- Say "thank you." Express appreciation for the big - and little - things the teacher does for your child.
- Pray for your child's teacher not just at the beginning of the school year, but all year long.
Pastor Shane Pruitt asked several teachers what they would want their students' parents to pray for this year. As you cover the new school year in prayer, I wanted to share with you how they responded:
1. Pray for us to be constantly reminded of the reason we were called by God to pour into the next generation, especially, on difficult days. Also, for us to be able to find effective time during the day to get alone to pray ourselves, take a breath, and regroup to effectively continue to engage with your child.
2. Pray for an overwhelming sense of peace and calmness to come over us in moments of stress, chaos, or rebellion by a student. Pray for us to possess the wisdom to show grace and mercy when necessary. But, also be able to discern when discipline and sternness is fitting.
3. Pray for our ability to effectively and clearly teach the subject matter to all students in a way that they can understand.
4. Pray for us to have patience, strength, and understanding of each child’s journey. Being able to know where the child is coming from, and their background. That we as teachers would have ears that hear each student. The ability to hear the heart and need of each student.
5. Pray for your acceptance of us as teachers, realizing that we’re not last year’s teacher, and that this is a completely new year.
6. Pray for unity. Unity within the teacher-parent relationships, and within the teacher-student relationships. Also, for us to experience unity and effective teamwork with the administration, faculty, and fellow teachers. We’re unified it makes a better learning atmosphere for your child.
7. Pray for us not to be overwhelmed with the pressure of standardized testing. To avoid the temptation of looking at the students as scores, marks, and numbers. That we would help the students find value in a year-long process of hard work, sharpening their strengths, and celebrating their individuality, rather than, being defined by one test.
8. Pray for our physical, emotional, and spiritual endurance. That we would be able to maintain consistent momentum throughout the entire school year, and not lose heart.
9. Pray for our personal life. Please, don’t forget that we have responsibilities outside of the classroom as well. We have interests, hobbies, to-do lists, spouses, children, friends, and churches we serve.
10. Pray for us who may be Christians. Many times we believe our primary task is to love your children like Jesus would by reflecting the Gospel to them. And, that is often very, very difficult for us to do in a non-Christian environment.
Promise for Today: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6