Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Teachers need our active support and encouragement. They are doing one of the most necessary and exacting jobs in the land. They are developing our most precious national resource: our children, our future citizens.” Teachers have the remarkable task of inspiring, educating, and motivating students from all walks of life.
Teaching is not just a job; it’s a calling to impact lives.
I’ve never met a teacher who “stumbled” into the profession - just the opposite. Every teacher I have talked to has said they always knew they would be a teacher. They pictured setting up a classroom with art, music, books, and toys. Now, they spend summers writing and rewriting lesson plans. They often pay out of pocket for classroom and teaching supplies. And, just like you and your kids, they eagerly await the first day of school.
Teachers need our encouragement more than ever before.
Unfortunately, being a teacher these days means carrying a much heavier backpack than ever before. The current social climate, limited resources within school districts, withdrawn families, and teacher burnout all play a role in why teachers need our encouragement more than ever. In a 2022 study by AdoptAClassroom.org, 98% of teachers said they feel undervalued by society. Imagine!
As disciples of Jesus, we play an important role in ensuring our teachers are valued, loved, and supported. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, 'Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.'
So, how can we encourage our teachers?
Here are a few practical, simple suggestions:
1. Pray for teachers by name. If you have school-age children, include them in your prayer time! My family used to gather by the front door each morning before school to pray for the day. Each child said their teacher’s name.
2. Get to know your kids’ teachers. Ask intentional questions and show interest in who they are, not just what they can do for your children.
3. Communicate! Read the notes and newsletters sent home and stay on top of what is going on in the classroom.
4. Offer grace and assume that teachers always have the best intentions.
5. Send encouraging notes - teachers love receiving tokens of our appreciation. Even better, make it personal, such as, “Emma loved learning about the planets last week! Thanks!”
6. Remember homeschool communities and offer support to the parents and educators in those groups as well.
7. If you do not have school-age children, consider sending a note of encouragement to your neighborhood school.
Be a light of encouragement!
On average, teachers work significantly more than 40 hours per week and spend hours pouring into our kids. Their job usually continues when they walk out of the classroom each day. At a time when our teachers face so many obstacles from the increasing demands of school districts and society at large, let us be a constant source of light that encourages and supports them in their calling!