Real moms praying for real teachers

If the sand is running through the hour glass of your summer, it’s likely a teacher is in your future. For children in traditional style classrooms or co-op groups, another adult will direct most of their school days. In the days of the one room schoolhouse, everyone knew the teacher, but in modern times, few parents have a close relationship with the educator who will invest so much in their child’s growth academically and otherwise.

How to pray for your child's new teacherReal moms want to know, “Who is this stranger who will imprint herself (or himself) on the life of my child? Does this real person have kids of her own, a teaching degree, a discerning spirit, a kind heart, a gentle tongue, a good library?” Secretly, you might wonder, “Can she be influenced by your signature baked goods, the best manners of your child, your name on volunteer sign ups, or gifts of Kleenex and hand sanitizer?”

Moms want the best for their children, so what’s the best way for a real mom to influence a real teacher? Pray with insight.

Just like we can’t wait to get our hands on those school supply lists, moms need to know insider information about how to pray for the people we call “teacher.”  Every teacher is a real person with a real life full of real concerns and needs. Pray for the real person, like this: (let’s just choose a female for the sake of simplicity)

How to pray for the new teacher in your child’s life

  1. Pray for the teacher as she looks at her summer to do list; she might not’ve had a vacation or success in taking care of needs.
  2. Pray for the teacher as she needs to be refreshed and healthy; her summer may’ve included loss, grief, disappointment, or trial.
  3. Pray for the teacher as she has concerns about how her relationships will change with the school year starting: daycare, marriage, family, needy children.
  4. Pray for the teacher as she gets her classroom ready; she may have to move rooms, may not have supplies yet, or might have issues to address.
  5. Pray for the teacher as she attends staff development and meetings; she may have requirements to meet or assignments to finish.
  6. Pray for the teacher as she re-connects with fellow staff & faculty; some working relationships might be challenging.
  7. Pray for the teacher as she sorts through curriculum; a change in grade level, publisher, or requirements can be difficult.
  8. Pray for the teacher as she begins to do her planning; teachers have so much to pack in, and the unexpected will enter in.
  9. Pray for the teacher as she receives information about her students; she needs openness, insight, wisdom, and compassion.
  10. Pray for the teacher as she meets a whole new group of parents; parent relationships are crucial to the success of students & teachers.

Every teacher is a real person who goes to the grocery store, does laundry, has dinner with friends, cries, hurts, and worries. She needs the Kleenex and the hand sanitizer, but most of all, she needs your prayers.




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Julie Sanders

Julie Sanders and her husband just relocated from the land of sweet tea to the Inland Northwest. The mom of two college students, Julie loves mentoring women around the world, bringing justice to the vulnerable, and teaching God’s truths for life. Julie was blessed when seasoned moms walked the marriage and motherhood journey with her and is grateful “grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:20) than her failures. She is passionate about fighting human trafficking and is the author of Expectant: 40 Devotions for New and Expectant Moms. Join Julie at Come Have a Peace, on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, and don't miss Marriage Mondays. She invites you to contact her about speaking at your women's event or mommy meeting.

Comments 20

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  2. LOVE this, Julie! What a great list of things to pray for teachers and a great reminder that they need prayer! 🙂

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  3. I find it interesting that moms wonder about whether or not their child’s teacher has children. Does it make a difference? When I was an elementary school librarian, several parents seemed concerned about the fact that I didn’t have children. I would hear from parents that it was a point of discussion among their gossip grapevine. A few blatantly asked why I didn’t have children and when I was going to have them, as well as state they were confused as to why someone without children would work with children. I’m curious: why is it a parent’s business to know why I don’t have children and my future plans to have children? Does it make me any less of a person or an educator because I don’t have children? Honestly, the kiddos, for the most part, really enjoyed coming to the library. I was able to make the library an inviting, comfortable, and safe place. I combined learning with fun. I wasn’t the old-school, stereotypical shushing librarian. Confused…

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      Oh, friend, I can relate. Most of my teaching career was spent without kids of my own. I remember some of those same comments from the grapevine, and I felt the same hurt and confusion and exasperation you felt. I actually felt like not having children of my own was an asset in some ways; I had more time, energy and emotional fodder to give as a teacher without her own brood at home. When parents venture to ask why we don’t have children or when we will, that’s just hurtful. The parent-teacher relationship can be (and should be) so much more than that; it should truly be a partnership.

      But that’s why I think it’s a parent’s business to know if the teacher has kids. Not just to know about “kids,” but to know the teacher, to care about knowing. Parents need to know how to be sensitive to the educator as a person. Does she have kids of her own starting school? If a stomach virus hits the neighborhood, is the teacher’s family dealing with the stress? Are they dealing with special needs, an aging parent, or a loss? Does the teacher have a personal need that’s making classroom life hard? Parents should care about the teacher personally.

      It takes a wise and mature parent to venture into caring for the teacher’s personal side of life, without becoming a gossip or critic. The best teachers care about the whole child, and the best parents care about the whole teacher. Just like great teachers aren’t afraid to develop relationships with students, great parent-teacher partnerships include relationships too.

      The “kids or not kids” status does NOT determine whether an educator is awesome in leading kids to learn. But it should help parents be more informed about the kinds of support they can offer to the classroom teacher. It sounds like your library was a joyful place to be and that parents should hear your valuable insights from your journey as an educator.

      1. Hi Julie,
        Thank you for your reply. I never thought about it from the perspective of a parent truly caring, probably because that wasn’t how the questions were conveyed in my experiences. I appreciate you opening my eyes to a different and valuable perspective. 🙂
        And yes, I had many days that, by the end of the day, I wondered how my co-workers with children did it all. Working with kids all day followed by working with kids at home had to be extremely difficult. I applaud their efforts.

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          I was blessed by some parents who not only cared about my classroom, but cared about ME. Those parents stand out in my memory.
          Last year our daughter’s phenomenal literature teacher went through a really hard pregnancy, bed rest, and then delivery. Knowing that piece of her personal life inspired me to send her a casserole, instead of a complaint, to urge my student to be more helpful than usual, and to pray for the teacher doing her best at school & home.
          Knowing what it’s like “at the chalkboard” has helped me be a different kind of parent, and I hope our kids’ teachers’ would one day look back and be thankful for my support.
          You’re probably like me … I still get excited when school starts! I’m going to pray that YOU have the opportunity to inspire some parents around you this school year; the teachers in their lives will thank you for it! After all, when you have a teacher’s heart, I don’t think you ever really stop teaching 🙂 Blessings, friend!

          1. Thank you, Julie, for all that you and your family did for your daughter’s teacher. Your story warmed my heart.

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            I’m so glad, Jennifer. She is a great teacher, and I’m so grateful for the investment she made in our daughter’s life. When our teacher’s baby girl grows up, I hope there will be the same kind of teachers waiting to receive her!

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      You are so welcome “Miss Nelson!” It looks like you a teacher? If so, busy time of year for you, friend, but your labors of love are appreciated. A great teacher is one a parent’s sweetest gifts!

  4. This made me cry. I have been praying for my children’s teacher(s) all summer. I want them to love God (in public school it’s not made “public” for us to know but it’s a secret prayer of mine) Love my kids, be a great teacher.

    But this year I AM going back to teaching after many years at home. I haven’t been praying for myself. Only stressing to wonder how I’m going to “do it all” I would love to know that heaven is being flooded for prayers for ME as well.

    Thanks for post!

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      Oh, Heather, as a former public school teacher, I can say that the prayers of parents were even more precious when I knew they were “strategically placed” for me and rare. You have an exciting year ahead of you! May God bless you and your classroom, your students and their parents. I firmly believe that teachers can impact students AND parents, and parents can care for their kids AND their teachers. Give yourself much grace as you start out and juggle the teacher all day/mom all night schedule, but you will get it figured out. Let the lesser important things go, and stock up on those freezer meals. Heaven will be flooded for you! Let us know on our TMI Facebook page when you’re headed back to school, and The MOM Team would love to uphold you in prayer and add ours to the “flood” for you!

  5. I think it’s funny that this post says that moms can hardly wait to get their hands on their kids’ school supply lists! What moms are those? I grimace when I see those lists! I am 3 kids and am an educator myself and I think those lists are excessive! Between that and new school others I’m broke in August…all I see are $$$$!!

    1. I love your honesty JoAnna! The lists can definitely get excessive AND expensive! The last couple of years, requests dry erase markers and erasers have made our bills even higher.
      I think a lot of moms want the lists early so they can keep an eye out for sales to bring down the total bill, or they want to spread out the costs instead of having one month take such a big hit!
      I have to admit that I’m on the fence this year and really close to being in “school denial,” so I’m ignoring the lists until I can’t any longer. I’m glad to hear from one educator who will help keep it simple. Blessings to you as you get your kids AND your classroom ready for a new year!

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