I normally use my blog to promote other authors. Today, during our National Day of Prayer, I’m going to devote it to all Texas teachers in Harvey’s path. As I am one.
A few schools in the state have already started, while the majority were scheduled to start the week Harvey made his historic and tragic appearance, causing the first day to be pushed back for weeks or maybe months. For those who aren’t teachers, let me tell you what the first day of school is typically like—specifically for elementary teachers.
No other word can sum it up like stressful does. We’re meeting with parents who have a hard time saying goodbye. They come into our rooms and linger there until the principal politely asks them to exit the building. When they leave, we have 20 or more anxious little faces pinning us down with eyes that say “I’m depending on you to take care of me now”. I always start by telling my students we’re going to be a family for the next nine months. We’re here for each other. We’re going to support each other and make this the best year ever. Those kids may be young, but they get it. Right away, they’re all in and ready to go forward. After putting away supplies, taking several restroom breaks, explaining procedures, rules, and hallway etiquette, we take them to lunch. Then it’s recess, more reviewing of procedures, and thirty minutes before the end of the day we all send up a pray to God that dismissal goes smoothly. Teachers will tell you that the only thing we care about on the first day of school is getting them fed and getting them home.
Home will mean something very different this year.
Although my house was spared, I feel very undeserving of the blessing I’ve received. I know there will be students in my classroom who have lost their homes and are displaced. Teachers who have lost everything will be expected to go back to work and do a job that is hard under normal circumstances. I don’t know yet what that first day will be like, but I know it will be the hardest one I’ve ever had. I’m sure every teacher on the Texas Gulf Coast is feeling the same way right now, whether they suffered damage or not. But no matter what we’ve been through, are going through, or will go through down the road…it’s still our responsibility to educate these kids. It’s our job to make them feel safe, love them, build them up, encourage them and get them through this storm. Teachers, we have a big job ahead of us and I have no doubt we’re going to make this year great for our students. Most likely, THIS will be their greatest year ever.
Heavenly Father, I pray today for the teachers whom you called into this profession. I pray that you strengthen, guide, and lead us during this difficult time as we do our part to help communities rebuild by taking care of the children you are sending to us in the aftermath of this storm. I pray, Father, that you give us the wisdom to be flexible to the needs of our students and give them a safe and happy place to come to each day. Thank you for the strength you have given, the love that you pour out over us, and the blessings you’ve bestowed upon us. I ask this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:13