The following testimony is from a fellow Christian Educator who shares an example of the power of connection in our schools.
Prior to the start of this past school year, I was responsible for planning a professional development activity during one of our staff welcome-back days. Considering the difficulty of the past few years (the pandemic, distance learning, student behavior issues), I wanted to do something uplifting and encouraging for my colleagues. As I pondered my options, one of the activities from the AWAKE lesson plan came to mind. I obviously couldn’t make it faith-based, but I decided to use the same model with some small adaptations.
First, I had everyone write words that came to mind when they thought about the last three years on sticky notes in one color. It was beautiful to watch the room full of educators immediately connect through these common feelings and realize that they are not alone. Then we watched a video that explored the idea of our “why.” My co-presenter followed up after the video by sharing her “why” with the group. Even though her “why” was not faith-based, it set the tone for others to reflect and explore their purpose as educators. Next, we tore up the old sticky notes, and then each person wrote new words that they wanted to work towards during the upcoming school year on a different color sticky note. We held on to the new sticky notes and then reconvened several times throughout the year to discuss our progress. I was so encouraged throughout this past year to see how this activity brought the staff together. Although I would have preferred looking up Scriptures and praying about God’s purpose using the AWAKE model, I am thankful the educators in my building walked away from the activity feeling encouraged and more connected with their colleagues.
Especially during these challenging times, it can be easy to just focus on our own personal needs. But, the truth is, we gain so much more power and strength when we connect with others. So this week, I encourage you to take the time to notice those around you. It could be another teacher who hasn’t seemed like herself lately, a student’s family that you know is struggling through difficult circumstances, or even your principal or superintendent who has to make hard choices that will end up making someone unhappy or upset. How can you reach out to those around you? You could even take a leap of faith and ask them if you can pray with them! Don’t stress about doing it perfectly. Just listen to God’s leading and believe that He is working on your behalf in your school!
Is there someone you made a connection with this year that was in need of God’s grace, love, and support? Have you had an opportunity to let them see His work within the context of your work in your school? Do you have a testimony to share? If so, please reach out to email@example.com.
I am excited to hear your story!
For more information about our AWAKE Experience, click here.
For more information about religious liberties in public schools, click here.