Dear Christian educators,
I just watched soccer practice this evening as ten 7-9 year old ran around in what seemed like an unorganized mess. I observed one little player disobey, disregard and ignore his coach. For anyone else, this child may have caused them to lose control, but this coach was so patient with him, yet did not let him get away with his shenanigans without consequence. I would definitely count that patience as a model of our Lord's patience. He's so good to us.
Each day during this season of Lent, I will post one verse and pray it with you. Consider saying the verse in your quiet time and praying it also. You may use the same prayer or try your own. Each day until Easter (except Sundays) there will be a new post that contains: a verse, a small reflection, a prayer using the Scripture and an image. Feel free to share the images because I made them with the Bible Lens app and took all the pictures. What a creative God we serve!
2 Peter 3:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
Patience in the classroom takes a lot of conscious work. I wrote a blog entry about patience in the classroom. This is an excerpt:
With first things first, pray for patience. Be specific. Ask God to help you with that particular child that knows how to push all those buttons. Ask for intervention when you are unable. Sometimes “we have not because we ask not.” Ask! Next, practice. Be purposeful about addressing those things that wear your patience down and then practice having a different reaction. For instance, if the way the students enter your classroom in unruly and unorganized, instead of getting heated and getting on them for being so noisy, laugh about it. Add a little humor and then practice, practice, practice until they please you and then praise them. Too often, the management chaos in our classrooms is our fault for not setting routines and expectations and then keeping up with them. When things become too familiar, we get sloppy (the students and us!) Change it up. If a routine is not effective any more, make a new one and practice, practice, practice. Going home exhausted by a chaotic day does no one any good. Bring patience to your classroom with practiced and purposed management.
What about the student who makes the little hairs on your neck stand up when they enter the room? We’ve all had them, but the difference between being stressed and being patient is how it is handled. When “that” student begins to move your patience meter down, pray immediately for wisdom and guard your mouth. Be especially careful, not to say what is in your head and heart at the moment. He/she is an image bearer, don’t forget. Next, begin targeted prayer for the child. Sit in their desk before school starts and pray for his/her family and home life. Ask for help with communication with the parents before you call home. Ask for private time with the student to discuss goals for success in your particular class setting. Pray for patience. There is no easy method for solving the stress of having students who are disrespectful or unruly, but praying for them changes the situation and us.
Thank Your for Your patience which leads to salvation. Lord, how do You do it? How do you wait on Your people to return to You throughout the generations. Please forgive our stony hearts and wayward ways. Help us to be whole-hearted for You because of Your great patience and love. Thank You for Paul, our beloved brother who wrote so much of the New Testament for us. Help us Lord to look to Your Word for guidance, wisdom, knowledge and reproof. Lord, we love You and ask for Your guiding hand in the patient name of Jesus. Amen.
Karen and the CIPE Team