Who are the Teachers in the Trenches?
They are the hot-hearted, the humble and the ones who seek the Lord's direction in their high calling.
Micah 6:8 - He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Luke 24:32 - They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
I have the humble honor to visit with many of our called-out, hot-hearted educators in the public schools and thought it would be encouraging to share some of the stories of His grace and presence in our public schools today. The names and places are not their real names, but the stories are the real thing.
Marilyn is a 6th grade ELA teacher in my own district who was given a new 3rd period class of 8th graders. This class was "hand-chosen" by the 8th grade teachers when they class size was too large and they could chose who they wanted to move. Yes, this new group has definitely come with their issues. Marilyn prayed for wisdom, creativity and ways to help this class with the love of Jesus. Since October until now, the class is definitely more peaceful, more trusting of her and are developing a better work ethic. It reminds me of the class Mike Hicks was "given" and he had the idea of asking the students to write their stories and then (with permission) share them in a book called "Roots of Apathy." I suggested that Marilyn consider given the students in her class a similar opportunity. She has seen numerous answers to prayer over the last few years. She taught high school for just one year, but she really felt that the Lord placed her there "for such a time as this." She attended our LIFT dinners in January and was very encouraged to know that there are other Christians at her school with whom she can fellowship. One of the coolest things she showed me was she FL ELA standard LAFS.8.3.9 - Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.
I visited Manny's FCA group during lunch to introduce the students to Honor the Grads, a Christian Educator integrity award for students. This student-led group began with prayer, worship, a little business and a devotional by a bold student who encouraged the students to knock on God's door through prayer. He described the door in his minds-eye as very large, so large that he couldn't even reach the handle. When he knocked the door was opened by his Father God as it will be opened to all his peers. I shared the FREE to Speak pamphlet with the students for their understanding of what they can and cannot do during the school day legally and gracefully as they represent Christ. It is so encouraging and refreshing to be with these on fire young Christians.
Tamiya is an 11th and 12th grade English teacher in our district who prayed for years to start a student-led Christian group at her campus. In the first year she tried to begin the group, she only had 2-3 students come regularly. She asked God if this really was His plan for her and all she could understand was to "be still and know that I am God." She tried again the next year when her school went to one lunch for an hour on Wednesday. This meant that she could hold the club during a portion of the lunch in her room during the school day! The club named themselves Revolution Youth and drew in as many as 25 students. They prayed, sang worship songs and preached during their club period during lunch. They studied the Word and shared common issues they were experiencing and how to handle them according to God's Word. One of the students was describing how important it is to her to go to a local Christian college because, "I would go crazy if I could talk about Jesus anytime I wanted!" The president of their club described how she was asking God how she could advertise the club and as she was just staring at her computer she began to create a poster that God had to have given her because she had no plan in her mind. The icing on the cake today was when the group chose the president as their representative for Honor the Grads in May.
I praise God for the opportunity to encourage, equip and empower these precious educators and look forward to being able to share with you what God is gracing us with in the public schools. If you have a story, send me your "tale" in an email to email@example.com.
Your prayer coach,