And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17, ESV
Why are you a teacher?
At some point in your career, you have probably been asked this question. Answers will vary, but I suppose the common reply goes something like this: I want to make a positive difference in children’s lives.
I believe that desire lies at the bottom of every teacher’s heart, including my own. It is a worthy aim we pursue with great devotion, so when our aim is met with challenges, it is easy to respond in anger or despair.
I know I am not alone when I say this past school year was stressful. Disruptive students, impractical admin expectations, and a morally decaying culture were some of the culprits. On especially dark days, I wondered why I even bothered teaching. Were the students even learning anything? I felt like all I did was manage students’ behavior. And in the rare times of order, I was either too cranky or exhausted to even enjoy teaching.
With such unhealthy musings, I often turned to Scripture. Colossians 3:17 opened my eyes to the true reason why I am a teacher—to make a positive difference in children’s lives by shining Jesus’s love and truth through my words and deeds. The revelation that God is working through me and other teachers to reveal Himself to our students gave me a whole new perspective. I became more aware of my words and interactions, striving to be more Christlike. Rather than dwelling on the bad and ugly, I gratefully focused on the good and beautiful. Of course, there were still stressful days and I sometimes responded poorly to situations, but that revelation helped me persevere until May.
Fellow teachers who are weary, I hope Colossians 3:17 will also lift your hearts and minds as it reminds us that our words and actions are to be done in the name of Jesus. Please know every minute spent teaching, even the stressful ones, are all part of God’s marvelous plan.
Dear God, I pray that the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of all teachers is restored this summer. I ask that You reveal to each of them a clear understanding of their calling as a teacher; equip them with a thankful heart so their words and deeds in the classroom will be performed to Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright Tirzah Dawson.
Tirzah is a member of Christian Educators and a library teacher at a Midwest public school.