Friday, 4 September 2015

How do teachers get ready for school?

In addition to making lesson plans, stockpiling supplies and organizing their classrooms, how do Christian school teachers get ready for back to school?

They hold meetings in beautiful locations.

They worship together.

And they learn together.

At the Niagara Christian schoolteachers’ back-to-school breakfast, held the first week of September at Smithville Christian High School, elementary and secondary teachers heard an inspiring and challenging message about power and perfection, from educator and mother-of-four, Sara Pot.

Pot, who has two daughters who have complex special needs, urged teachers to consider how God’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) and how true power seeks the flourishing of all because all people are worthy of love and belonging.

“We are all disabled,” Pot reminded her listeners. “Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.”
Pot said she and her husband did not choose to be “forever parents” of children whose every aspect of life is affected by their abnormalities, and life for them can be like “living grief, although no one has died.”

There are many unique struggles in life that can be compared to the idea of "living grief," she said. How we deal with our own shortcomings and our own struggles will also affect how we help our students.  When we assure our students that though they will struggle, they are all worthy of love and belonging, we allow for God's power to move - and the students will flourish in their own way.  Just as Jesus, in dealing with Blind Bartimaus (Mark 10: 46-52) or another blind man (John 9) did not care why the men were blind, so we are called to compassion and acceptance.  That compassion and acceptance, in the form of God's Grace, reminds us all to forgive and to persevere, knowing His power will ultimately prevail.

“When that co-worker hurts your feelings, when your students don’t listen, when your lesson fails miserably, when that parent phone call goes south instead of smoothly, lift your head,” said Pot, citing the lyrics of “Keep Walkin’” by hip-hop singer/songwriter TobyMac.

I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers aint been answered yet
I know you're feeling like you got nothing left
Well lift your head
It ain't over yet

Seek comfort in God's grace," Pot said. "Life won't be pretty, it will be messy, but we are all worthy of love and belonging. Each day brings a choice: you can choose joy or you can choose the alternative.

Oh, and one more thing. At Smithville Christian High School, where progress on renovations has been hampered by a delay in shipment of structural steel, back-to-school also means tiptoeing on slippered feet to avoid tracking dirt and dust, cheerfully accepting disruption and temporary classroom locations and joyfully acknowledging that the most important things about school are the relationships between teachers and students and students and students.

Our building may not be finished yet but we are excited for the students to arrive. We’re ready, whether the walls and windows are or not! See you Wednesday morning!

Read more from Sara Pot at her blog thepotfamily.blogspot

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