Let’s just start with the obvious. Teachers are among the most underpaid and underappreciated people that exist in society. They put up with virtually a much crap as plumbers and waste management workers. As I’ve been spending the last few weeks praying for everything under the sun, I have to say that one of the greatest things I can pay for is those who are called to be teachers. Here are a few reasons why:
Teachers are Judged Heavily: From a biblical standpoint, we find that there is a stricter judgment applied to those who are teachers (see James 3:1). We understand that when James speaks of this it is primarily in the sense that teachers of the gospel are responsible for the souls of those whom they impart doctrine and spiritual principles to, because what they teach ultimately determines how well those they teach properly adhere to sound doctrine. From a natural standpoint, teachers are responsible for preparing young minds to be able to enter the world prepared to be contributing members of society. Teachers who ignore this responsibility not only fail the student but society as a whole.
Teachers Often Are More Than Teachers: Really good teachers are often mentors, counselors, a second parent away from home, a truant officer, a referee, and a host of many other things that they don’t even get paid to be. Yet, if they weren’t all these things, those they teach might not have the courage to become more, pursue greater, or dream large enough to achieve more.
Teachers See More: Whether we’re talking about teachers in the schoolhouse or any other place, teachers are front line observers to the student and their needs. If the student is slipping or in danger, they are likely to be the first line of defense. With that in mind, teachers also are called on to be social workers, health care workers, and yes, even emergency responders.
Teachers Have to Roll With The Punches: Classes come and go and rules are constantly changing, so teachers have to adapt to changing curriculum, changing emotional states of their students, the environment of the community and the system in which they teach. As culture changes and ideas and ideals change, teachers have to be able to upgrade themselves in order to keep pace with those changes as well.
If you’ve watched the news at all in the last decade, you’ve seen stories about teachers who have struggled with abuse of their position as authority figures by having improper relationships with their students. You may have seen stories of teachers cheating for their students to keep their school compliant with codes to maintain funding at the risk of children’s educational achievements. You may have seen a host of stories where teachers have even had to fight off students who attacked them, or had to put up a fight against intruders who’ve come to do harm to faculty, staff or students.
Despite all the negative news you may hear about teachers, there are some great ones as well. You may hear about a teacher who saves a child from not having a lunch when he doesn’t have money to pay for it, so he or she pays for it out of pocket. You may hear about a teacher who helps a student to read in her/his spare time after school to make sure they have the best opportunity to succeed in life.
Indeed, teachers do face a great deal, and indeed there are some great stories out there that need to be heard. These and many more reasons are why teachers deserve our prayers. Without good teachers, the future is less promising. It is my prayer that those who are called to teacher will accept their calling with a heart of understanding of the great privilege it is to mold and shape minds, that they will steward it well and always remember that even as God is our greatest teacher, He has placed in them the capacity to be a great influence in the lives of not just the generation they teach, but every succeeding generation that follows.
QUESTION: What other reason can you add as a reason to pray for teachers? Will you join me in praying for them today?