I Corinthians 13 for Teachers

If I am an entertaining and articulate teacher, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I have all wisdom in dealing with student and parent issues that arise, and have not love, I am nothing.

If I give  my free time grading, creating exciting lesson plans, and designing stellar bulletin boards; and have not love, I am nothing.

Love is patient

It does not get annoyed with the drumming pencil or the millionth time a student asks, “what page are we on?”

Love is kind

It speaks to students with kindness, even in times of discipline. It looks for little ways throughout the day to show students care.

Love does not envy or boast

It does not “show off” bulletin boards, lesson ideas, etc. to show up other teachers.

Love is not arrogant

It listens respectfully to the opinions of others and is willing to admit that it is wrong. It is even willing to ask forgiveness from students or other faculty when necessary.

Love is not rude

It finds ways to discipline students without belittling or embarrassing them.

Love does not insist on its own way

It does not get out of sorts when its lesson does not go according to plan or when scheduling does not work out in its favor. It does not consider its way the only way to do things.

Love is not irritable or resentful

It gives students a clean slate daily and doesn’t hold grudges. It doesn’t take student behavior personally. Its mood is not dictated by outside circumstances.

Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth

It looks for the positives in the students instead of focusing in on their weaknesses. It doesn’t feel smug or justified when the student “gets what’s coming to him”. It is heartbroken when a student makes wrong choices, not because those choices affect the day, but because those choices are displeasing to God.

Love bears all things

It sets aside its constant to-do list to really listen to what’s on students’ hearts and minds. It finds time to listen to the looong stories, pray for a pet guinea pig, and counsel the friendship drama at recess. These problems that seem so trivial to most are very real and heavy burdens on our students’ hearts.

Love believes all things

It believes the best about the students.

 Love hopes all things

Even after a rough day, it is still hopeful knowing that it was a day in which God was working His grace and perfect plan.

Love endures all things

It keeps going day in and day out. It doesn’t give up on any child because God never gives up on us .

Love never ends.

If you are like me, I see so many areas that I failed in loving my students today. Can I tell you a secret? There is no way that you or I can daily show that kind of love to our students without God’s grace!  We need God to work in our hearts and give us that spirit of love.

II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,  and of love, and of a sound mind.

When I realize that I am not loving my students as I ought to be, I need to look back to the love of God for me. He has loved me despite my sinfulness, and He has offered me grace to love my students in the same unconditional way. It’s all grace!

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  1. Rachel, this was just plain ol’ Outstanding! Loved it…shared it on Facebook…you are a natural blogger!

  2. Your posting of this shows your heart as a teacher and as a person. I am so proud of you and I love you so much.

  3. How true! Perhaps this was one of then secret successes of the one-room schoolhouse. Teachers had the children throughout 12 years of school and really understood and loved each child and their self-worth .

    1. Sue, I can’t tell you how much I admire those one-room schoolhouse teachers! I have 2 grades in 1 room so I can only imagine how they did it with all of them! With that being said, it has been neat to have the same kids for two years in a row because you can get to know them better!

  4. Working with children day after day can be a huge test of character. I do not find it easy to always respond in love to the children that walk through my doors. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings!

    1. Yes, Debbie! I agree! There is no way that I can love them consistently on my own! So thankful for God’s grace! It also helps me to remember how God loves me even though I fail Him everyday! God bless you in your work with children!

  5. A sweet retired teacher friend of mine sent this link to me today, Valentine’s Day! While I’m enjoying a winter break from school, this is a perfect reminder and an inspiration to renew my focus on the need to demonstrate LOVE above all things! Thank you for inspiring and refueling this 3rd and 4th grade teacher!

    1. Tina, I am so glad it could be an encouragement to you – I know God has been working on me in this area! Thank you so much for your comment – it’s neat to see how what God is teaching me can also be a blessing to others!

  6. This devotional was such a blessing . It showed me what I needed to work on. I need to improve on listening to my students instead of constantly talking over them.

  7. We are so blessed to have a daughter that not only loves being a teacher but teaches love to those around her; her students.her family, her friends and those yet to come. `

  8. Loved your encouragement and challenge in this blog! Have you ever read Apples for Teachers by Frank Hamrick? It is a daily devotional from the Book of Proverbs. I have really enjoyed its practical application and truths! Thanks again for sharing!

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      I’m so glad it’s been an encouragement! It’s been an encouragement and challenge for me to write it 🙂 I do have that book and have only read part of it. I need to finish it though, because the little I did read I really enjoyed!

  9. I am printing this and hanging it on the wall near my desk in my classroom. I want to give you credit for it but without your last name I just put by Rachel C. As a middle school teacher, I need reminders of God’s love each day. Thank you for using this chapter of the bible (one of my favorites) and focus it on a way to apply to my life as a teacher. God bless you.

  10. Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your articles.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Appreciate it!

    1. teach4theheart.com is probably my favorite go-to for education from a Christian’s perspective!

  11. Thank you for your interpretation. I try to live and teach that way, but now I have it to post for my daily reminder. I am going to share this with as many teachers as I can.

    1. Annette, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing! Thank you for all that you do for your students! It’s a daunting list, but fortunately God doesn’t ask us to love this way in our own strength!

  12. This was so perfect for today’s teaching standards, I just loved reading it an it made me cry because it is so true school officials of today just do not care what that child is going thru that he. Or she may need a moment of that teacher’s time! That does not involve talking about or teaching test strategies for sol test, that the child does not have food at home or mom and dad are getting divorced up fighting all night police came, Teachers need to be there to talk to sometimes! Beautiful written loved it touched my heart

  13. I read this and this made me look back on those years I was in the classroom. Those years went fast because I truly enjoyed what I was doing because I loved children with whom I worked.

  14. I’m sharing this with my colleagues at teacher devo tomorrow. It’s a Christian school, so I know they’ll love it as much as I do. Thanks so much!