Jesus: Serving Savior & Serving Teacher

Jesus is a serving savior!

And…

Jesus is a serving teacher!

Fellow teachers, if we want to follow in His footsteps throughout the school year, let’s examine ourselves inwardly, before we gather our chicks around us in our classrooms, by asking ourselves two questions that will produce fruit for the kingdom outwardly.

1- Are we a serving teacher?  

2- Are we serving our students the way Jesus would?  

Now that we’ve completed our first week of school for the year in my district (four pre-planning days + one day with students), this thought has been on my mind especially after completing our first day with the kiddos yesterday.  I know I briefly touched on the subject of serving last week, but I want to add a little more icing on top of the cake if I may (or more chocolate on the donut, syrup on the waffle, or more whip cream on the milkshake…God’s word is that good!).

Last Sunday, our pastor preached a sermon with this same title as we were honoring military members and first responders.  It’s good to hear other perspectives on serving. What really resonated with me, though, was the fact that what he was saying about them could also be said of teachers, too.

Therefore, I’m tweaking it for my fellow teachers out there who are reading this blog post.  Let me say, if you are as exhausted as I am already, it will give you fresh energy and insight as to what’s important in the long run in our classrooms, because when we serve our students, we serve our Savior.

In order to accomplish the mission of service, our spiritual antennas must be sensitive to receive signals from our Father and our students, in order not to miss any opportunities He sends our way. I know sometimes I may sound dramatic, but nothing, I mean NOTHING, is more important then when eternity is at stake.  And eternity is definitely what is in the balance here.  Make no mistake about it!  Selah.

So here it is in a condensed version tweaked for teachers…

  • Serve others because Jesus served others – rephrase – serve students because Jesus served students.  I can think of at least 12 students Jesus had close by most of the time!

  • Jesus served people in crisis – rephrase – We have students (too many sometimes) who are in a crisis. Let’s serve them in their crisis’ situations.  The woman who was caught in adultery, the officer whose daughter was sick – too many to count, just like us!

  • Jesus served people who didn’t care about him – rephrase – sometimes all the work we do serving our students and their parents will go unnoticed or unappreciated, because they simply don’t care. Some students and parents can even be down right mean.  Let’s serve them anyway.  He died for them for goodness sake!

Serving others opens the door to a person’s heart.  Thus, serving students opens the door to our students’ hearts.  It’s both a natural (and a supernatural!) thing.  We want those doors open fellow teachers!  Why?….

While we certainly can’t be our students’ savior, by serving them we can introduce them to Him!  I find that to be the most gratifying act of service there is.  Bar none.  Now that’s something that will keep us energized as we press on toward the high calling. Amen?!

God bless you dear teachers.  Until next week, serve, serve, and serve some more!

#JesusServes  #SoShouldWe

“And the point is?…”

What’s the point?  Why am I here everyday in this classroom?  Have you ever asked yourself these questions my fellow teachers?

If so, then today’s video blog is just for you.  I know sometimes it’s difficult to see the forest from the trees, isn’t it?  Nevertheless, it’s imperative we do!

One of my students asked me this very same question, which as you’ll see, caught me off guard.  As I thought more and more about it though, I knew that I knew it is a question teachers are asking themselves.

With the state of education being what is today, I read more and more of good teachers, even highly credentialed, award winning teachers, calling it quits.   As Christian teachers we can’t, indeed we mustn’t, take this route.  Eternity is weighing in the balance!

I’m praying the blog encourages you in the “everydayness” of what you’re doing in your classroom.  Remember, by remaining devoted to God we will be better teachers!

#HangethThouInThere

Apathy Arrested

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As teachers, especially those of us who are Christians, we want to encourage and serve our students…that is, until apathy sets in.  Can I get an amen?!  Apathy is poison in our classrooms, whether it’s seeping out of teachers or students.

Since this is the last week I’ll see this group of 8th graders (my students change classes at the end of each quarter), I always try to squeeze in one inspirational movie that will help them to see the big picture of what life is really all about. So, we are watching To Save A Life, a movie about a teenager who commits suicide in front of his peers at school.  Sounds depressing, but my kids love this movie!!!  The kids in the movie, and my students, totally look at life differently after seeing what apathy can lead to.

My prayer for you is that if you are experiencing apathy, the video blog will encourage you to turn it around and experience the joy and passion you need to fulfill God’s mission for you in your classroom!

Never forget – what you do in your classroom impacts lives both now and eternally! God bless you, teachers!

Dear 1st Period,

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!

Apathy Arrested

As teachers, especially those of us who are Christians, we want to encourage and serve our students…that is, until apathy sets in.  Can I get an amen?!  Apathy is poison in our classrooms, whether it’s seeping out of teachers or students.

Since this is the last week I’ll see this group of 8th graders (my students change classes at the end of each quarter), I always try to squeeze in one inspirational movie that will help them to see the big picture of what life is really all about. So, we are watching To Save A Life, a movie about a teenager who commits suicide in front of his peers at school.  Sounds depressing, but my kids love this movie!!!  The kids in the movie, and my students, totally look at life differently after seeing what apathy can lead to.

My prayer for you is that if you are experiencing apathy, the video blog will encourage you to turn it around and experience the joy and passion you need to fulfill God’s mission for you in your classroom!

Never forget – what you do in your classroom impacts lives both now and eternally! God bless you, teachers!

Awaken! Arise! Fight the Good Fight of Faith! 1st Timothy 6:11-12

“I want my life to be the song You sing”… is one of my favorite lines from the Casting Crowns song, Until the Whole World Hears. Do you want your life to be the song He sings?  I do!  I try to play this song as often as I can before going to school each day, because it just fires me up! Not. Kidding.  I am ready to do BIG things for God in my classroom and throughout the school day after I hear it. I challenge you to listen to this song every day for a week and see if it lights a fire in you as well. Click on this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7qi2KlUffs, and it will take you right to it!  Seriously though, teaching is a BIG calling, and the time we have our students is short.  We need to be more urgent, so here are some important questions for you to consider:  Are you awake?!  Have you arisen?!  Are you fighting the good fight of faith?!  I hope your answer to each of those questions is a resounding YES!  If not, it’s time to reexamine our lives and perhaps reorder our priorities as Christian teachers. I hope the blog inspires you today!

Donna

PS. Here are the links for the other blogs mentioned in the vlog today:

https://devotionsforteachers.org/2014/10/02/arresting-apathy-revelation-24-5-2/

https://devotionsforteachers.org/2014/04/12/april-14-20-2014-a-big-teacher-revolution-1st-peter-31-2/

8 To Be Great Pt. 2 Work & Improve…How do you want to pop?! Colossians 3:23-24

Parable of the Popcorn