17 Aug A Teacher’s Prayer for Back to School
This post was originally written as I prepared for the 2015-2016 school year. This is a true teacher’s prayer. While I am no longer an educator, my heart for public education, our schools and our students has not wavered. This post continues to be one of the highest rated posts on this site and for good reason. Whether you are a parent, student, teacher or member of the community, you can pray this prayer over the school year to come. May this year be your best one yet and to God be the glory!
As you all may know, I’m a high school teacher at an AMAZING public school here in North Texas. I love my school, my colleagues, the parents and most especially, I LOVE MY STUDENTS! At the beginning of each school year, I reach out to my friends and family and I ask them to join me in prayer for the next school year, my students, my school, and myself. Instead of simply reaching out to my friends and family, I figured that this year I could reach out to my amazing readers to see if you’d be willing to help me in this endeavor.
In today’s society, our schools need our prayers in a very special way. I’m a Christian who works in the public school system. While my faith is the foundation beneath my calling as a teacher, I am in a unique position to impact our youth without imparting my faith upon them. When I consider my role as a Christian and as an educator in the public school system, one quote comes to mind:
“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”
-J. Sidlow Baxter
I may not, on my own, be able to stop cyberbullying or end an eating disorder or keep every single student from dropping out, but there’s one thing I can do… I can pray.
And so can you.
So, as another school year starts back up I’m reaching out to you all to ask for your help… not just for me, but for all teachers out there! I truly believe that this is the best tool I can use to ensure that this year is successful. I need your prayers.
Throughout the past three years as a teacher, I’ve learned that for some of my students, I’m the only constant smile they see or the only person who believes in them. This shows me that a teacher’s job is more than to teach; it’s to love. That’s a lot of pressure, and is something I cannot accomplish to perfection on my own. That is where I need God, my friends and my family to come in. So, please pray with me the following prayer that I’ve written and will be praying daily:
—–A TEACHER’S PRAYER—–
Thank you for allowing me to see another year. To meet another group of students and to spread your love through my actions yet again. Thank you for my students and their parents. Thank you for my colleagues and thank you for my school. As this new year arrives, LORD, please grant me the wisdom to lead righteously, the discernment to best be able to live above reproach and the energy to make it through each day with a smile.
I pray for my students, that their minds are being prepared to learn, and that their hearts may be opened to learning life-lessons as well as the lessons I will teach in class. I pray that you protect them from the dangers of this world–both physically and emotionally. Be with the overachievers, the socialites, the athletes and the popular students. Stand with them as they face the pressures of school and social life and help them to see the impact that they can make by reaching out and helping others. And, LORD, please be with the studious, more quiet, meek and mild ones… the ones who struggle in the classroom and the ones who struggle in the lunchroom. LORD, be with the ones who sit alone, whether by accident or by choice. Help them to find their voice, their inner beauty and to love who they are. God, I pray that they see you in their struggles and in their successes and that they feel your presence even if they don’t know you. I pray that they all find an adult who can show them your grace and can walk alongside of them through the year, whether or not that person is me. These babies (even though some are close to adulthood) are lost and some are alone. I pray for them in general and I pray for them as individuals… They are more than deserving of our love in that way.
I ask that you bless them…
Bless their pencils, that they may express themselves freely.
Bless their lunch boxes, especially the ones of those who are hungry.
Bless their tennis shoes, that they may not dread the social hour that is recess.
Bless their school buses and cars, that they may arrive to and from school safely.
Bless their devices, that they may make wise decisions with how they use them.
Bless their backpacks, both the physical and emotional weights they carry.
I pray for my school. God, please protect my building. Keep it safe this year from fires, natural disasters, accidents and vandalism. Please move through the halls and out onto the fields and protect all the people inside and out of the building from the chemistry projects to recess to football games. Please keep each door secure and each adult in school on alert and safe from the harm of predators who see a school as a target. Please change the hearts of the students or adults who seek to harm others as a way to cope with anger, mental illness and pain… Give them someone who can love them through their emotions and keep them away from the building. Be in the attendance office, be in the parking lots and the lunch lines and the nurses office. Help those who help our children and give the students a heart of thanksgiving for the paraprofessionals, the maintenance men, the office ladies, the school nurses, the principals and the janitors. Bless the administration, the Headmasters, Superintendents and School Boards.
I pray for all the other teachers and students in Texas, the US and our world. I pray for peace in our schools, for our children to be blessed, and for our teachers to be strong. I pray that the lessons taught, both inside and outside of the classroom work to benefit your kingdom. I pray that this generation of students sees the beauty of family time. I pray that they learn to put the phones down and take what they see on social media in stride. I pray that the parents of our nation stand alongside the educators and push their children to be the best that they can be.
Lastly, I pray for myself, that I may remember who I truly work for, you. And that I may remember that I am called to serve and to love, even when it’s hard. Please pray that I am strong and do not ever give up on a student, that I remember that the ones who are the hardest to love, need my love the most. Please help me control my temper on the days that are hard. Please give me the patience to continue working with the students who have given up on themselves. Help me to remember to keep my classroom door open to all who need someone. Bless my lessons and my homework assignments, that I may hold my students to high expectations, yet remember that school should be fun. Bless my classroom. May it be filled with laughter and love. Give me grace, LORD, so that I may infinitely give grace over and over. And when I’m given credit for my successes, may I remember that you are deserving of it all… That You are the reason I chose this profession and that You have given me the strength and energy to make it through another year. Most importantly, help me to always remember that I love them because You first loved me. For each one of them is your child… a child of the King.
This is my prayer. Amen.
Please pray with me over the new school year.
Disclaimer: I will not be praying this prayer with the students at school. Students of all beliefs are welcome, safe and loved in my classroom and are free to express themselves accordingly. My beliefs, which may come to the forefront here on this site, are simply the foundation for why I chose education, and are not displayed to the same degree in my classroom as they are through this medium. It is not my goal to impart my beliefs upon my students. I honor every student’s right to find a faith of their own, regardless of whether or not it differs from mine.