In preparation for the upcoming school year, I’ve come up with a list of some of my go-to Bible verses and what they mean to me as a teacher. I find I’m a better teacher throughout the year when I remember who I’m really working for and why I’m doing what I do.
- “When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” -Psalm 94:19
At the beginning of the school year (and often times throughout the year) I find myself full of nervousness and oftentimes doubt. It’s simply because I want to be the best teacher I can be, but it’s important to remember to give all our concerns to God. I’m capable of anything as long as I rely on Him to guide me through.
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” -Philipians 4:6
This goes along with #1 and remembering to trust God in all situations. I have anxiety and I know a lot of teachers do. I find myself much less anxious when I remember to stop, pray, and lean on Him. Throughout the school year we as teachers are faced with many challenges and remembering we aren’t alone in those challenges makes them easier to face. Pray for his wisdom and insight during those tough times. Surely, there is a positive in every situation.
- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.” -Ephesians 4:29
This verse speaks to me whether I’m dealing with my students, parents of students, co workers, or anyone else I encounter throughout my job. I think it reminds us to think twice before we speak because our words have impact. Especially when shaping the minds of our world’s future. In reference to co-workers, we should never get caught up in gossip or bad mouthing of any kind. If you know that’s something that’s hard for you to avoid, pray about it. Teachers encounter many people during the school year, and it’s always important to remember to keep our words kind, positive, and wholesome.
- “And he said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”” -Matthew 18:3-6
I often find myself thinking throughout the school year that I feel sorry for people who don’t work with kids. Yes, it seems like the most challenging job in the world, but it is also the most rewarding. Kids keep you on your toes. They remind you that there is still innocence in the world and you fight every day to help them keep that innocence. In return, I feel while we are shaping kids, they’re shaping us. I feel I’ve become a better person since I started teaching and I owe a lot of that to the kids that have come through my classroom. How awesome is it that everyday we get to work with those that are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Not everyone gets to do that and we must remember it is a privilege.
- “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” -Hebrews 12:11
I think all teachers would agree that disciplining children isn’t the best part of our job. It’s necessary though. We set high expectations and follow through with consequences because we care about the child as a whole. We don’t do it so the student will prosper just during the time they’re with us, but hopefully to have a lasting impact on their entire life. We must also remember to accept discipline or criticism from our principals and administration because nine times out of ten, they give us feedback because they care and want us to grow as teachers.
- “Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.” -Ephesians 4:2
Again, this goes for working with students and co-workers. Work with your colleagues in a loving way, help them, ask them for help, etc. We’re all in this together. As far as working with kids, I know since I’ve become a teacher, I’ve become so much more patient. It’s something I struggled with, so this verse really speaks to me and reminds me to be tolerant and patient in every situation.
- “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” -2 Corinthians 9:7
As teachers, we can often find ourselves seeing the negatives because there is so much pressure put on us. It seems we always have a hundred things to do and that list just keeps growing. We have to remember that teaching is a calling. God has purposed it in our hearts and that we should see it as a blessing. We must do our best to teach and compose ourselves in a cheerful manner. Usually if you do that, your day will go so much better because your outlook is better. Our moods are also contagious. If we’re in a bad mood, that sets the tone for our classroom. Our students pick up on it and reciprocate how we act. I’d much rather have a happy classroom environment that kids want to come to, than one they don’t because they think their teacher doesn’t want to be there that day.
- “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12
This goes out all the new teachers out there. Just because your the new person (which I know how you feel because I was the newbie not long ago) doesn’t mean you don’t have so much to offer. Your ideas and thoughts matter. This verse also reminds me that I’m an example to those around me and I need to be there best example I can be. My goal is for anyone who comes into contact with me to see Him through me. Never let your light stop shining. This verse also reminds me not to ever look down on my students because they are kids. Kids have great ideas, creativity, and suggestions. Give them more power in your classroom and watch them flourish.
- ” And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves. Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother.There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless—a miserable business.” Ecclesiastes 4:4-8
This passage to me speaks about taking on too many things. I’ve done this in the past, and all I know is that I wasn’t as good of a teacher as I could have been. We have to remember it’s okay to say no and to limit the amount of things you’re involved in. It’s better to do a few things and still have energy for the next day than to do everything and be burned out. A constantly busy teacher does not equal a good teacher. We have to remember to take care of ourselves. I’ve made myself commit to do that more this year and I know my students (and tennis team) will benefit from it because I’ll be more refreshed. Your family will also benefit from it because you won’t be giving all of you to your school work.
- “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 1-:31
Teaching can be just a job or your ministry to the world. Sure, you can’t preach in your classroom, but if you’re working as for God, not man, you’re going to be making much more of a difference inside those four walls of your classroom. Those that encounter you will know you’re doing this more than just to get a paycheck. It’s because it’s your calling and God is allowing you to do it. I never planned on being a teacher, but God put me on this path, He put me in my classroom, and is allowing me to work for him as a teacher. Hopefully, I will make a difference in kids lives.
I hope some of these verses will help you during the school year. I pray each of you has a great year!