Preparing for the new school year is such an exciting and busy time. It can also be a time of great anxiety--almost every teacher I know has back-to-school nightmares and trouble sleeping the night before school starts! With so much on our minds, it's easy to get focused on the details and lose sight of the big picture.
Over the last few days, the Lord has really been pressing on my heart to share this message with you all: the most important thing we can do is PRAY FOR OUR FUTURE STUDENTS. Jesus wants to be involved in your preparations even before you've met your kids, and even before they've been placed on your roster. He wants to prepare your heart for the children He has selected to be a part of your life for the next ten months. And, He wants you to start covering them in prayer now. Incredible stuff is about to happen--the things God wants to do in your students through you are beyond anything we can imagine! There is peace and purpose when we realize that and invite the Lord to take control of our classrooms.
Here are two prayers which I've prayed in past years prior to school starting. The first one I shared in my post Oh, no, you got HIM in your class?!:
Lord, even though I don’t know who my students will be this year, You do, and I am so grateful to be a part of Your perfect plan. I pray that you keep my students and their families safe as the summer comes to a close and bring them to me with an open heart, ready to learn. Please help me to get to know each student and family for who they are, and to see them as You see them: they are Your creation, your beloved children, and I want to love them like You do even when they don’t seem very lovable. Help me to stand strong when I want to speak negatively about my students and remember how precious they are to You. Please show me Your divine purpose for placing each child in my class this year, and help me to walk with You, relying on You for strength as I work to accomplish Your perfect will. Thank you for the fantastic year ahead, Lord! Amen!And this one is from Who's in Charge Here? which is both a prayer and a classroom dedication:
Powerful and almighty God, You are so amazing! You’ve had a plan for these children since before time began, and you’ve always known that our lives would cross paths this year. Please give me the gift of discernment to understand their needs and how I can meet them. Show me everything I need to know to teach these little ones and develop the gifts that you’ve given them. Let my enthusiasm be evident every day, because my joy doesn’t come from having a perfect classroom, it comes from knowing You. Jesus you are ever-faithful and unchanging, and I pray that you would fill me with your strength and perfect peace each morning and carry me throughout each day. Put a genuine smile on my face and help me to be as patient and loving with these children as You have been with me. Remind me that this job is a privilege and that I am fulfilling Your call on my life by showing up in this classroom each day. Surround me with supportive, positive influences and help me to speak only truth and light so that my colleagues and supervisors will consistently see You in me. I dedicate this classroom to You: let Your name triumph over any negativity and may everything that happens here bring glory to Your name. I thank you for giving me Your holy Word so that I have a place to turn when I need to be uplifted. Thank you for filling me with the passion and enthusiasm that can only come from having ‘God within’. May Your name be glorified in everything that happens here as Your mercies are made new each morning.I'll be praying these prayers along with you all once again this school year! Though I'm doing instructional coaching now and don't have a classroom of my own, I'm already asking the Lord to place me with the teachers that I can support the most and make the greatest difference with. I'm so excited to see what He's going to accomplish this year! Many blessings to all of you and your students in the 2010-2011 school year!