25 days! Yes! There are only 25 days left after this week until the end of the school year!
We are in the throws of testing this week here where I teach. Testing is no fun, but alas, we live in evil days! I’m convinced of it!😉 Seriously though, the scenery of both anxious teachers and students pondering and conversing about the end results isn’t a most pleasant event to witness, but as one of my colleagues mentioned yesterday, opting out shouldn’t be an option. Opting out of the test is an option here in Georgia, but, as she suggested, what would we be teaching our kids? When times are tough, stressful, and maybe even unbearable, it’s time to close up shop and give up because we can’t handle it? That would be akin to enabling them to fail and we enable them enough!
Similarly, opting out on what God has called us to do should not be an option either, dear teachers! Unless we clearly hear from Him to lay down what He has called us to do and/or change directions, then we are to stick with it no matter the difficulties we face. Consider these verses…
Luke 9:62 – But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 6:9 – Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 – But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.
Philippians 3:12-14 – Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:14 – You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them…
1 Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Isaiah 40:31 – Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Remember all of these verses were written from those coming before us who persevered through dire trials and tribulations. I’m convinced they would repeat them to us if they were here today. Jesus himself prayed for future believers way back in the Garden of Gethsemane and still intercedes for us today. If that’s the case, then no matter what we go through, as long as we are abiding in Him and His word, we will overcome the difficulties life hands us so that we will accomplish His purpose for our lives. (John 15 and 17)
Therefore dear teachers, we can make it through testing, we can make it through the last month of school, and we can make it through anything the Lord has called us to do. OPT IN! NEVER. OPT. OUT!
God bless you and stay devoted!
For teachers who enjoy ordinary, run of the mill disciplinary issues (like me) reading the blog today, life in our classrooms is good. Amen?! But for teachers who deal with extraordinary disciplinary cases day in and day out, life in the classroom is not only tough, but can be down right dangerous.
While unwinding from a typical day in my classroom last week, I turned on the news to see what was going on in this chaotic world we live in. (Ironic I know!) To my dismay, on the broadcast was a story about teachers being physically assaulted by their students. Cell phone video coverage displaying fight after fight of out of control students attacking their teachers, hurt me to my core as I watched. What’s occurring in some of our nation’s classrooms is frightening. Truly, we are witnessing a battle against demonic forces, forces battling for the souls of our students. No doubt about it my fellow teachers. No. Doubt.
So the question is this… If you are in this situation, what do you do? Perhaps one solution could be to fight fire with FIRE!
I don’t pretend to know all the answers (or any for that matter) for teachers in the middle of what seems to be hell if that is you, but I do want to encourage you not to waller in the mud of filth the enemy is slinging around, using, of all things, your students. Remember the veil is completely, but not irretrievably, drawn over their eyes presently, and that is why they are acting like rabid dogs.
Notice I said presently, because with the Word of God, the fires of hell are extinguished! Ephesians 5:26 calls it the washing of the Word of God…
just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.…
I believe when we stay in the word, we are cleansed, and when we are cleansed the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11) burn in us, making a straight line to our students thereby robbing the enemy’s fire of its oxygen, extinguishing the blaze. Recall how firefighters set fires to fight fires? That’s the idea here! Yes, the firefighter is blameless too, because he was preventing destruction of lives and property. See the picture?
Since we are fighting fire with fire, I pray that the following acronym will encourage and strengthen you as you face the fire in your classroom. Remember, Jesus’ fire and the world’s fire are extraordinarily different…
F – Forgive! Luke 23:34 – Forgive them for they know not what they do. Each day as you enter your classroom, you must unequivocally choose to forgive students whom you know are out to harm (or have harmed) you, but you must do it in word and deed! Remember Proverbs 25: 21-22 21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you. Talk about fighting fire with fire, well there you go!
I – Instruction is key! Psalms 32:8 – I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. This applies to your lesson plans (which should be well planned and well thought out as well as relevant) and instruction on how students should behave properly and be at peace with you and their fellow students. Perhaps if you are in an exceptionally frightful environment, spending at least 5 minutes per class each day to instill life lessons would be beneficial.
R – Resolve Conflicts Quickly! Proverbs 18:15-16 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. Redirect students respectfully and if they don’t follow through, then talk to them privately immediately after class. If the situation warrants, send them out auspiciously on an errand so that you may meet them in the hall to talk with privately upon their return. Also, review as many classroom management articles as you possibly can!
E – Emotions Must Be Kept Under Control! Proverbs 29:11 – A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back. So count to 10, hold your breath, and repeat that verse in your mind before you do something that will add fuel to the fire!
Remember, it’s a spiritual battle! So above all, put on your armor before the first student walks through your classroom door, dear teachers.
Imagine looking in the spiritual mirror and beholding this person! Well, that’s how you and I look when we are armed and ready for battle, and that’s the person who will STAND! Remember when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were tossed into the fiery furnace? The fourth man, JESUS, came on the scene and stood in the fire with them! Praise God! He will do the same for you and me too!
God bless you in this fight dear teachers. I have no doubt in my mind that God is with you, and He will reward you for your work on His behalf. I am praying for you and I invite all my fellow teachers to pray on your behalf as well. Keep the faith, fight fire with fire, and stay devoted!