“How do you help a student get organized?”
“How do you help a student struggling with reading comprehension?”
“How do you help a student who can’t stay in their seat?”
“How do I get play dough out of the carpet before my custodian finds out and kills me?”
What did teachers do before Google?
Seriously, I don’t think I go one day without Googling something.
I am so glad that Google does not judge me for some of the rather….well, dumb, things that I ask. Because I ask a lot of questions.
When I am not on the internet surfing for answers to my myriad of teacher questions, I am hunting down the other teachers in my school and asking them question upon question.
How would you handle this?
What would you do in this case?
What do you think?
I love getting answers. I love the feeling of implementing something that I learned to hopefully solve a problem I am facing in my classroom.
One day, I realized that when I have a question, my default is to Google it and begin to pick other teachers’ brains around the world.
Now that is not necessarily a bad thing – asking questions from those who know more than we do is a very wise course of action! In fact, Proverbs encourages us to listen to others instead of relying only on what we know!
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)
However, I realized that my questions always drove me first to “the experts” rather than to THE EXPERT.
My first response should be to take my question to the One who created and knows both me and my student.
After all, where better to find answers?
My God wants me to come to him with my concerns and issues. He isn’t so busy taking care of world affairs that he doesn’t have time to “deal with” my problem of a class that won’t stop talking. He isn’t going to scold me for taking up his time for something so “minor” in the grand scheme of the universe. He tells me to come to him. He tells me to ask. He promises that He will give.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)
I want my default to be that I take everything to Christ first.
Before I jump on the internet, pull out my college textbooks, or grab the ear of a colleague, I want to first start on my knees. Praying that God would…
- Give me Wisdom – wisdom in choosing the proper way to deal with the situation. There are so many ideas out there – I need wisdom to choose the methodology or solution that would be most helpful to my student.
- Help the student that is struggling – That He would encourage the heart of that student who is academically behind. That Sarah would realize that her value is in Christ and not her GPA. That little Johnny would be able to stay in his seat. That through these struggles, these students would be drawn to love Him more and realize their own need of help from Christ.
- Give wisdom to others involved in the situation – that He would help parents know how best to help their child. That administration would have wisdom in making decisions that could affect this student.
Those behavior issues? Yes, I will probably still ask others for advice…but I will first pray that God would work in that student’s heart. That neat Pinterest behavior modification idea may help…but without prayer for a changed heart, all I am doing is helping to mask the symptoms of that student’s sinful heart.
Those parent issues? Sure, I will use that great communication idea found on a blog…but first, I am going to pray for my own heart in dealing with that family. That I would be loving and Christ like in the way that I relate to them. Then I am going to pray for those parents – that God would give them wisdom in raising their children and that they would also have the correct responses in the face of conflict.
And when I get to see God answer those prayers and work in powerful ways, I will know that it is not because I am such a wonderful and clever teacher. I will know that He graciously listened to my request and worked in ways that only He can work. I will know that He directed me to that idea to help my student who struggles with reading comprehension. I will know that He worked in my heart, my students’ hearts, and their parents’ hearts. I will know that He is the one who deserves all the praise.
So I am not finished asking the experts, yet.
But I do want to ask the all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving Expert first.
Praying this year that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).