Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back to School

I always experience a bit of nostalgia this time of year as the school year gets started. It reminds me of my days teaching high school and how much I enjoyed the camaraderie of the staff gathering back together after the long summer. There were always new faces of enthusiastic new teachers ready to change the world as well as the seasoned veterans buckling in for another year of influence and education. We would exchange hugs, handshakes, and slaps on the back as we talked about our summer adventures and learning experiences. There was excitement in the air as we anticipated great things in the coming year with the exhaustion from the end of the previous year temporarily forgotten in the past.

I found myself watching the first faculty meeting of a local high school from a short distance this morning as all of these thoughts rolled through my mind. I was excited for them and the new challenges their students would bring. There will be great triumphs this year for them and also great disappointments. They will have powerful opportunities to shape young lives and open up minds to new possibilities. These educators will have unique moments to provide encouragement and speak positive truth.

My prayer for all of our teachers and staff is that they would remember the value of what they are doing as the invest in this generation. I pray that they would recognize the power of influence and know that success is not always immediately measurable. I pray that they would stay focused on doing what is right even when it is difficult and would maintain their commitment to their calling. I pray that they would strive to understand the stories of their students and know that the issues they see on the surface reflect a complicated and sometimes difficult life. I pray for patience, understanding, and insight that helps when circumstances are difficult.

Their calling is a noble and difficult one and they have my highest respect for their daily efforts and investment. Thank you teachers and staff for your sacrifices and willingness to make a difference in our youth. Your impact is greater and longer lasting than you can imagine.

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