Perhaps you’re like me. Lately, I have been in the routine mode. It’s as if I’m pressing the play button over and over and over and over replaying the same scene over and over and over and over…and the routine makes me want to bang my head against the wall!
Don’t get me wrong. In some ways routines are good, especially for children and students, offering the stability and security they desperately need. We likewise are the benefactors of those same benefits. However, once we plunge into the abyss of robot mode, then something needs to change, and fast!
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending First Baptist Church Bremen with the Y-Club. Something the pastor said really stuck with me. He preached a sermon about Pilate and his dilemma with Jesus. His dilemma was 3 dimensional in that it had political, physical, and spiritual ramifications. Take a moment and absorb that statement…
If we thoughtfully think that statement through, it could apply to most any dilemma we are facing, maybe not 3 dimensionally like Pilate, but perhaps 2 dimensionally (leaving the politics out in some cases). Perhaps you see where I’m going with this.
I believe there are some root causes of pressing the play button and letting our routines take over instead of the Holy Spirit. Lack of motivation to pray and read our Bibles, being listless worshipers in Church, as well as not listening to God during the week are just for starters. The one that’s been the stickler for me is my preoccupation with other things. From the TV, to my phone, to my laptop, to entertainment, to doubt, to worry, to disappointment… and the list goes on. And that’s just the spiritual dimension!
The spiritual then leads to the physical which is the routine of life – life in the replay mode, which is essentially an unproductive existence both in the classroom and everywhere else. For me, it’s lead to murmuring, complaining, and impatience with my students. The days are truly evil, and if you and I are wise, we will repent, put our eyes on Jesus, and get on with His agenda. Our routine just simply WILL NOT get the job done. Time is too short to stay stuck in this mode for long!
I pray for God Almighty to deliver us from the routines that are keeping us from His best for our lives as well as our students’ lives. Revival, not routines, WILL get the job done in the classroom. The Holy Spirit must do the work through us as teachers to reach a generation so desperately needing Him. Lord forgive us, fill us, let our hearts be as one with Yours!
Happy Thanksgiving dear Christian teachers! Let’s redeem the time off by devoting our time to Him during this brief break leaving our routines behind. He will restore and revive our souls which will surely result in better teaching! God bless you!
Last week, I invited you to join me in extending Thanksgiving blessings to our students by writing them a letter. As promised, here are my letters to 1st and 2nd period, respectively. It didn’t take long to write them either!
November 16, 2015
Dear 1st Period,
I am thankful for you! Both collectively and individually, you are a caring group of young people. I love seeing you work together to help each other and me. For example, you were eager to lend a hand when all those stuffed animals for Y-Club needed to be inspected and boxed up to be shipped overseas…all 327 of them! You are also nice and respectful to each other, which is a breath of fresh air as I witness this day in and day out during class.
I know each of you will be successful in life! I’m thanking God for you this Thanksgiving.
November 16, 2015
Dear 2nd Period,
I am thankful for you! I have now had the privilege of teaching you not only in 6th, not only in 7th, but also in 8th grade. My how time has flown by! You have grown into some amazing young people. Your energy and enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me (and wear me out on some days lol). For example, everyone wants (even begs) to read the standard just to receive a devil dollar! Why?… Because you want to WIN! That competitive spirit is going to make every one of you a winner in life. I have NO doubt about that!
You are awesome and I am thankful to have taught you throughout your middle school years. Now, get to work and behave!
God bless you,
Click on this link, The BMS Career Center, to read each period’s letter as I post them this week. Here’s hoping it catches on, because I firmly believe, without equivocation, as we bless our students we will be blessed as well.
God bless you fellow Christian teachers! I am thankful for you each and every day. Stay devoted to God and you will be a more excellent teacher!
Two more weeks until we, with thanks I might add, receive one week off for Thanksgiving break! Hip Hip Hooray! Glory Hallelujah! Can I get AMEN?!
More often these days than not, we find our friends posting on social media something for which they are thankful for each day of November. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a thankful person, but sometimes the exuberance of 30 days of thanksgiving posts from as many friends as we have on social media can be just a smidgen too much. So I thought of something a little bit different to do this year, and I thought you might want to join me in participating in your classrooms as well my fellow teachers!…
Beginning next Monday, the week before our Thanksgiving break begins, I am going to write a short letter to each one of my classes telling them what it is about them and their class for which I am thankful. These days we read a lot about classroom communities. What better way to foster communities than this? Furthermore, I think it will not only minister to their spirits but ours as well, don’t you think?
Class blogs are the perfect platform to post these on, but if you don’t have one just write it down (or better yet, make copies for each student) and read it to your class. You could also use post it notes (see pic above) and invite students to write their notes of thanksgiving too! That would be the turkey, dressing, and sweet potato souffle all at the same time, which would definitely be something to thank God for, amen?!
This is how I’m going to break it down:
Monday – 1st & 2nd periods
Tuesday – 3rd & 4th periods
Wednesday – 5th & 6th periods
Thursday – Y-Club (we aren’t meeting, but I’m posting it on our blog and our Instagram and Twitter accounts)
Friday – Open since it’s always hectic before a big break
Now, you may be like me and have a couple of challenging classes that make it difficult to think of anything they do for which to be thankful! (Lol, but I speak the truth!) In this case, we are just going to have to dig down deep and think of something. I’m thinking out loud here, but I’m going to focus on the majority of the students in those classes who are trying to do their best and are behaving, not the few who aren’t. Even those kids who make our day difficult are teaching us a little something though. It’s all about perspective, you might say. Right?
I’m praying it will put a smile on their faces. Mine too! 🙂 Please join our classroom blog, The BMS Career Center, next week and check out our week of thank yous and share with me if you participate. I would love to hear back from you! Until then, stay devoted to God… you will be a more excellent teacher for it. God bless!
My fellow Christian teachers, would you please join me in giving birth to a new movement called A Candle in the Window?
I’m an 80’s girl. I graduated high school in 1983 (go ERHS Pioneers!) and college in 1987 (go UTC Mocs!). I also fell in love in the 80’s and married my foxy (If you don’t know what that word means, just substitute the word “hot” instead!) husband, Keith, in ’87 as well. 🙂 So needless to say, I LOVE 80’s music. Besides Christian music, 80’s music is the only music I will crank up in my Suburban as I mosey on down the road.
So, that got me to thinking. (Sorry for my not so creative grammar to all you LA teachers out there.) As I tossed and turned in bed last night, the 80’s band REO Speedwagon was singing the song “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore” in my oh, so tired brain. Yes, they were singing to me, lol! Then, all of a sudden, the phrase candle in the window jumped off the pages of my mind and lit up like the fourth of July! Sounds a little strange, I know, but I’m thinking you also encounter those restless nights when thoughts are racing around in your head a hundred+ miles per hour.
What in the world does a candle in the window mean, and what does it have to do with encouraging Christian teachers in the classroom, you may ask? It has a lot to do with it, and it’s the topic of the video blog today. Tune in to find out!
Additionally, I am asking you to put a candle in your window at school. I have 3 windows in my classroom – one by the door as you enter and two that are on the outside wall of our school. I have placed mine on the windowsill by the door (see above), and even though the Fire Marshall forbids lighting candles at school, it still represents a praying teacher! There is a three-fold purpose in doing so…
As a reminder to pray for my students
As a reminder to pray for my administrators
As a reminder to pray for my fellow teachers in my school and around the world
and there is a three-fold outcome…
By doing this together, we will make a huge impact on our school and all over the world!
By identifying ourselves in this manner, we will know and encourage one another in a clear and concise way.
And finally, by placing our candle in the window, we are telling the world we are there to make a difference for Christ!
Will you join me in spreading the word? Let’s do this together, dear Christian teachers! Pray, put a candle in your window,and let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16