Back-to-School Faculty Devotion

Melissa Smith Teaching in Early Childhood Leave a Comment

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Bible Verses:

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Philippians 2:14

Introductory Activity:

Pair up with another classroom teacher. Go to each other’s classroom as you share with your colleague a few ways that you prepare your classroom. Consider the following questions to discuss:

  • How does your classroom radiate with a love for Jesus Christ? Show and talk about your classroom altar.
  • What is something that is time-consuming in getting your room ready?
  • What do you enjoy the most? the least?
  • Do you grumble or are you humble when preparing for a new school year?

Devotion: (Read the devotion as a pair or with the whole staff.)

You have probably spent countless hours the weeks before school preparing for the new school year ahead! The room is stocked with fresh school supplies, students’ names are written neatly on their cubbies, and the theme for the school year is selected. I remember the excitement of starting a new school year, but I also recall a few not-so-pleasant memories. To have my room ready, I brought in my “preschool crew” to tackle some of the most tedious projects. They were a fairly cheap crew, might I add, being paid for their work with a home-cooked meal or a trip to their favorite restaurant. My husband was the designated paper lantern hanger-upper. Of course, I needed to have these decorative, colorful lanterns hung with an invisible string. If you’ve ever used fishing line, you know it’s not the easiest to tie in a knot! I gave my mother, the second helper, a stack of bulletin board poster sets to be punched out and adhered with sticky tack. In addition, I left her with the die-cut machine and instructions on which letters and shapes needed to be punched out. These were two time-consuming tasks that I had very little interest in completing, and I thanked God for my husband and mother in those moments.

Now, the air conditioning was turned off for the summer, and as we put in several hours of work in the heat, I was starting to lose my patience. Preparing a classroom and coming back to the demands of our job after having summer off can be overwhelming. We quickly take our focus off what’s important—at least I did. In the midst of my work, I had to stop and think about the following Bible verses shared above. Read those out loud together.

The classroom appearance, lesson plans, and projects are a significant aspect of your job as a teacher. More important, though, God has called you to teach young children about Christ. When Jesus issued the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations . . .” and commanded “Preach the good news . . .” He was not only speaking to His disciples but also to us! He instructs us to go, teach, forgive, and serve. Delight in every opportunity God provides you in the school day to share His law, love, and forgiveness with your students. Think about how awesome it will be when you meet Jesus to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Prayer:

Prayer: Dear Master Teacher, help us always to stay focused on Your love, grace, and mercy.  Use the talents You have given each one of us to be all that You have created. You are the beautiful, bright light of the world. We ask that You would help lead us to follow Your light. Bless our staff, students, and families in this new school year ahead. In Your name we pray. Amen.

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About the Author
Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith is the Assistant Professor and Coordinator for the Early Childhood Undergraduate Program at Concordia University Chicago. Melissa is a former Lutheran school teacher, early childhood director, and assistant principal. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Lutheran Teachers Diploma from Concordia Chicago, a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Illinois University, and will soon be starting her dissertation in order to obtain a Doctorate in Early Childhood Education. Melissa resides in Chicago with her fabulous husband and has a passion for weight lifting, playing tennis, and singing in the band at church.

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