PARTICIPATION TROPHIES
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV

Teaching two subjects in one class period is no cakewalk. This is why my partner teacher and I spent endless hours cooking up lesson plans that mixed tough standards, student interest, and a dash of our personalities.

One year, we decided to shake up our assessments, creating new writing prompts for our students. As we did this, I became very anxious. We had always used the standardized testing prompts provided by our state’s department of education in the past. I worried, What if the prompts we create do not prepare our students for the state test? What if our scores drop?

As believers, we did what we always did—we prayed. We sought God’s direction as we created our argumentative writing prompt, and God delivered one: participation trophies. So we turned this prompt into a state-test-friendly format and trusted Him as we assigned the topic to our students.

The kids loved it. Debates were heated, arguments were clear and well thought out—they were totally into it. When the state test day arrived, we prayed again. This time we prayed for our students to do their best and for the prompt on the test to be a topic they could actually write about. As they scribbled away in their test booklets, some shot me confident smiles.

Once the test was over, the grins kept coming. Turns out, the topic of the prompt was the exact same prompt God had given us earlier that year: participation trophies! This topic had never been used before on this test! And guess what? Every single student nailed it, even the ones who usually struggled with writing. Our students snagged the best scores in the state.

It’s a lesson straight out of Proverbs 3:5-6. When you trust in God, allow Him to guide you, and follow His leading, He is always faithful. He is a God who truly makes our paths straight, even in the smallest details of lesson planning and tested subjects.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the calling to education and how, when we trust in You, You direct our paths. Thank You for being a God of details. Help us to come to You first in each and every part of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Copyright Morgan Preston.

Morgan is a former middle school language arts and social studies teacher. She is currently Christian Educators’ Marketing and Communications Coordinator and serves her middle school students and teachers through First Priority.

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