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!
Think about that title… Truly if we meditate on it even for just a little while, it will deepen our faith in Him.
Our pastor, John Lemmings, preached a message on that subject last Sunday. It was a like a birthday gift wrapped in glittery red paper, beautiful white ribbon, and a tag with my name on it! And I’m gonna pay it forward, albeit this is the condensed version tweaked for teachers of course.
Matthew 1:23 Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).
God is WITH us always. He’s in our classroom every single minute of every single day. He will never leave us nor forsake us! (Deuteronomy 31:6) When things are going good, He’s with us. When things are not going good He’s with us. Selah! (Stop and think about that a minute!) Therefore, remember He’s with you when your days and your students are challenging. Call on Him, because He’s with you, dear teachers.
Not only is God with us, He’s IN us in the form of the Holy Spirit. Wow! The Spirit guides us as we teach our students, comforts us when we are feeling down, and helps us to love the unlovable… not that we ever have an unlovable student in our classroom. AMEN! Thank you Jesus!
Finally, God is FOR us!
The object of our faith is not faith itself, it’s Almighty God… and God Almighty, the Ruler of the Universe, is FOR us! (Insert happy dance!) He’s the most enthusiastic cheerleader we could ever want or imagine. Why?…Because He pours out a grand and glorious everlasting love upon us. We are the object of His affection.
God is WITH us, God is IN us, and God is FOR us! Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving. Thank you Lord!
God bless you dear teachers and remain devoted!
Hello fellow Christian teachers from Panama City Beach, Florida, where I am soaking in the rays and the fun of Spring Break 2016! 🙂 I hate to see it end Friday when we head back home to Georgia, but the kiddos need me, and you, on the front lines of the battle in our classrooms every day, don’t they? Amen!
Speaking of soaking and battle lines, tonight I checked out the sequel of the movie God’s Not Dead at the Grand Theater in Pier Park. Wow! Just Wow! I pray every Christian teacher in the world (literally) makes tracks to see this movie. To give you a quick recap without spilling the beans on specifics, the movie’s plot is about, you guessed it, an 11th grade AP History teacher being put on trial by the ACLU for answering her student’s question in class about Jesus. I mean – HOW? DARE? SHE?
It may sound ludicrous to the world, but we Christians and Christian teachers know better. At the end of the movie the producers document the cases against Christians which inspired the movie’s story line. So, we best pay attention. It could be one of us next. That’s why it’s imperative we spread the word inviting as many Christian teachers we know to see it, with the added benefit of inspiring the inner Lion in us, also known as JESUS! Yep, it certainly made this teacher want to roar like a lion! Kinda like this…
And my fellow teachers, I know without a doubt, it’s THE time of year where our inner lion needs awakening!
One last nugget from the movie I would like to share. I about fell out when Lee Strobel, author of the best selling book, The Case for Christ, made an appearance as a witness during the trial. Not. Kidding. If you’ve never read that book, it’s a must read for Christians. Compelling, riveting, and awe-inspiring at the same time… it’s a fantastic scene to say the least!
Invite your fellow teachers, and let’s finish this year strong, roaring together! GOD’S NOT DEAD! Stay devoted and God bless you!