Teaching is one of the most challenging, yet one of the most rewarding careers. The opportunity to influence countless young lives is a responsibility that must not be taken lightly, despite the way society views and values educators. In recent years, a lot of light has been brought to the challenges in the education field. Through the ups and downs during my teaching career, I have learned many things. One of the most important things that I have learned is that I cannot do this job on my strength alone. So, how do you lean on God as a teacher?
Second Corinthians 12:9 says, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” A key in my choice to lean on God during the good and bad times of teaching is accepting and admitting that I am neither perfect nor strong enough to do this job. As someone who is fiercely independent and a perfectionist, this is not easy. However, it starts with believing that while I am weak and imperfect, He is powerful and perfect. Most importantly, He says His power is made perfect in my weakness. No situation or challenge stands a chance against our God’s power.
One challenge that many educators are facing more in the past several years is student behavior. As a Special Education teacher this is a large part of my job. When I tell people that I am a Special Education teacher, the first thing most people say is, “Wow, you must have a lot of patience,” or, “That takes a special person.” And while I believe that God gave me the capacity and compassion to do this job, there are also days where my patience is more slim and I get frustrated. Something that has been helpful for me is asking that God would allow me to see my students through His eyes. This also applies to challenges with other adults in the workplace.
Lastly, I have found it very important to lean on God for wisdom, guidance, and for help in balancing the load as a teacher. It is difficult to balance the many diverse responsibilities as a teacher, but also to maintain a good work-life balance. The Lord will give you the wisdom and guidance that you need whether that is through His Word, through time spent in prayer and worship, and through the people that He has placed in your life to love and support you. To anyone who works in the education field, I leave you with this word of encouragement: You are placed in the classroom and with the students that you are given for a reason. When you feel challenged, discouraged, or just plain exhausted, always remember to lean on God. His power, wisdom, and guidance are just what you need.