I had the privilege to speak with a most generous group of retired educators in my district yesterday. They meet once a month and raise scholarship money for education majors, keep up with legislative issues and remain involved with local, national and state initiatives. They have a guest speaker each month and I was asked to present some of the newest trends in educational technology. At the end of my presentation, I was blessed to be able to share the 16-9 movement with them and how important it is to have such a great organization as CEAI to help administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals and districts have a balanced approach to religion in the public schools. I love how the Lord works because I didn’t even plan to ask them to be involved, but I was led to encourage this vast wealth of wisdom and knowledge in retired educators. God never created retirement. Have you ever heard of anyone in the Bible who retired? Just being among this precious group of former teachers was inspiring because by their very presence, it spoke volumes about their need to stay active.
If you are a retired educator, I want to encourage you to come along side us and help our school communities. Staying active on your own terms, at your own speed and in your own way is what retirement is all about. May the Lord press on your heart, the service that He has designed for you in your retirement years. If it is to serve our next generation of teachers, let’s consider some of the ways you can help:
· Adopt a teacher – Mentoring a teacher is powerful. Pray about a teacher in your own church or previous school who could benefit from the wisdom of someone who has been there and done that. Your wealth of experience is priceless. Your prayers can be his/her covering and your support would be incalculable. The manner is which you would establish this relationship is totally on your own terms. You’re retired! It’s up to you.
· Adopt a school - Ask your church to adopt a school. Pray for specific needs of that school by asking a Christian educator in the school to post prayer requests. This is a totally legal and most appreciated way to encourage teachers in the public schools. Once you have the prayer requests of specific teachers, begin a regular time of prayer followed by cards of encouragement. Who knows where this relationship will lead?
· School prayer groups - Lead or attend regular prayer time with teachers on campus. Teachers can legally meet on their own campuses for prayer and Bible study BEFORE or AFTER their contract times. A retired educator leading the group would help remove the burden of “one more thing to do” for our busy teachers.
· Community prayer - Consider leading or joining a group of interested moms, dads, grandparents and/or community members to pray for a specific school or district on a regular basis and at a regular place outside, yet near the school. Praying for the next generation is definitely our future.
Retired educators, we need you! Please consider this precious time that the Lord has given you as a time of service to Him. If you are called in another direction, God bless your service, but if you are called to encourage, equip and empower our teachers in the public schools today, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so you don’t have to totally reinvent the wheel. We need your wisdom, grace and insight.