It’s that time of year again when teacher assignments come and school supply lists scatter around my kitchen like late-summer dropped flower petals. We love school around here. We count down the days, pack backpacks, pick out special outfits, organize our desks, and begin dreaming of all the wonderful experiences we’ll enjoy and the new friends we’ll have.
I do the same thing as a college teacher; I’m printing out my class lists and getting so excited to meet those new students.
This morning, I begin praying for the new school year. I pray for several specific things both for my daughters’ classrooms and my own.
I pray for a great spirit of community within each class room. I pray that students would feel loved and cared for. I pray that a profound sense of belonging and acceptance would fill students’ hearts. This kind of reality enables students to learn well. This kind of atmosphere fosters the freedom to explore new ideas together with joy.
Then I imagine each classroom and pray that the room might be filled with celebration, wonder, curiosity, and joyfulness. I pray that the room would enjoy safety and protection all year.
More specifically, I pray that students would have an overwhelming and sustained desire to learn and to work hard at their tasks. I pray that students and teachers would experience freedom from self-consciousness, comparison, and insecurity as they learn well.
I pray that the teachers would be filled with enthusiasm, energy, good health, and joy (and the principal too!). I pray for their perseverance through grading, conferences, and lesson plans. I pray for their families. I pray that God blesses them with “immeasurably more than they could ask or imagine” and that “God would meet all their needs according to his glorious riches” (Ephesians and Philippians).
I pray that school leaders are filled with wisdom to know what to do in difficult situations.
I pray for laughter. I pray for the gift of lots and lots of laughter.
I pray for empathy and compassion to fill classrooms.
I pray for freedom from fear.
Finally, I pray that this year plants great seeds of hope within both teacher and student. I pray that students receive a glimpse of who God made them to be and how they might contribute to their world as global citizens with a unique calling. This could be the year that this one falls in love with chemistry or the year that one develops a life-long love of semicolons and vivid verbs. This could be the year that a student dreams of a political position, writes a novel, invents a new product, hones a skill, or realizes a special talent. This could be the year that they meet their best friends for life. This could be the year that changes everything.
This could be the year!
(Did I forget anything? Will you pray for this new school year with me? So excited!)