DEVOTIONS POSTED IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS
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SET A GUARD OVER MY TONGUE
Proverbs 25:2 (NIV) It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
Proverbs 10:12 (NIV) Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.
Gossip is fun! If it weren’t, it would not trap people. Soap operas play on people’s desire to get the latest “scoop.” We get hooked into watching the continuing stories. We don’t want to miss the latest trauma or victory. We not only want to hear about new developments, but we also want to discuss it with our neighbors and give them our opinion of what’s happening. It is a clever way to use a perpetual “story” to build patterns of gossip and judgment in our lives.
During the school year, teachers, parents, students, and administrators work closely together. Our strengths and weaknesses become evident. (We all have them!) It pleases God for us to choose to conceal or protect our brother's weaknesses from exposure rather than to make that difficulty a point of conversation. In Matthew 18, we are instructed to go to our brother and him alone to discuss such a matter. The weakness does not have to be a sin issue; it could be an irritating habit or oddity. Damaging slurs toward parents, teachers, or students can infect the entire school climate. A negative statement could be something as simple as "I don't like the way that teacher talks to the students on the playground." Or, it could be in the form of a question, "Do you think he might not being telling all he knows?"
Peace should always be our goal. Remember, slander is a hindrance to your Christian walk. Slander can be defined as “causing someone to think less of someone else.” I think Thumper, the little rabbit in the Walt Disney movie, BAMBI, had the best idea--"If you can't say something nice, don't say nuttin' at all!"
People leave jobs, schools, and churches as a result of gossip. Even when a bad report is true, the report can create disappointment and disillusionment among the younger members and can harm the entire workplace. It is easy to recognize the damage that careless words bring after the fact, but avoiding the harm is our calling. It is usually beneficial and appropriate for the matter to be handled privately. As a staff, your school can agree to refuse to repeat gossip in the teacher’s lounge, hallways, and lunchroom. Avoiding gossip takes effort; it takes a commitment. Self-control will be easier if we can remember that God's love covers a multitude of errors. "6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:6-7).
This also applies to the classroom setting. When a student is being disciplined, the issue should remain between the child and the teacher. Discipline is always for the purpose of training the student. We, as school leaders, must never bring harm to the student's social standing. Restoration is our goal. This is what pleases God. Revealing details of an offense is the desire of man, but God's desire is to protect and restore.
Dear God, Make me sensitive as I discipline my students and as I observe the struggles of my coworkers. May I never be anxious to reveal someone's weaknesses. Should I desire to become involved in gossip, quickly reprimand me. Tug on my heart and remind me to seek the glory of God rather than the glory of man.
AS LONG AS THERE IS LIFE THERE IS HOPE
Ecclesiastes 9:4 Anyone who is among the living has hope--even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!
Do you ever feel that there is no hope for you or possibly no hope for one of your students? This Bible verse reminds us that where there is life, there is hope. As we grow older, we often realize that our productive classroom years are fading. Our accomplishments seem so small; we wish we had done more or done some things differently. Sometimes we feel that we have wasted our best years just spinning our wheels. The students we did not reach, and the students who never cared seem to haunt our memories. Our victories seem insignificant. STOP! LISTEN! As long as there is life "It ain"t over."
God grants life for a "purpose." He has a purpose for your existence. Your place of employment and/or job assignment may change through the years, but you will always have a "purpose." We need to discover God’s purpose in each day and pursue it with all our might. Too often we seek the "big picture" before we begin the puzzle. But often God asks us to place each piece of our puzzle before Him daily, and He will bring the big picture into focus in His time.
Only God knows who the Lions will be. His purposes are valued differently than men values things. Let the Word of God dwell in you richly. Turn from your self-centered thinking to God-centered thinking and leave the final results to God. Set God's work and His love as your goal and press toward it with all your might. Only in eternity will you know how valuable yesterday was in His Kingdom and what today's plans will accomplish. Live today to its fullest. The secret to success is purpose and perseverance. God will lead you if you will follow.
Dear God, Help me to persevere. I choose to not be weary in well doing. I will run the race with patience. Thank you for life and purpose. Lead me down your good path planned for me (Psalms. 16:11; 27:11).
JUSTICE AND MERCY
James 2:13 ...because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
Your success or failure as a teacher will depend on your classroom discipline. Students cannot learn well in a classroom that is out of control; therefore, control is as much a part of your teaching as the daily lesson plan. A student with knowledge but no self-discipline will not be prepared for the adult world. Each teacher must establish control within the classroom. No principal can do that for you. Written rules of conduct and consequences are essential. Never make the rules up as you go! When students and teachers know the rules and consequences, they can follow the plan with a greater sense of fairness.
The discipline in your classroom must be delicately balanced. There are times that strong correction is needed and other times instruction and mercy are more appropriate. You need to evaluate each situation. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Search for possible explanations of inner motives. You may discover an underlying reason for the student’s misbehavior. The student may be experiencing family problems, the family dog may have been killed, a friend may have been unkind, anger may be misplaced, or immaturity rather than rebellion may be the issue. Discipline rebellion and train immaturity
Justice should not always reign--sometimes mercy is more humane and more Christ-like. Even as Christ showed you mercy, you can decide to show mercy. A case in point would be a student who earned five detentions because of multiple responses to one incident. This would punish the student for a two-week period. Instead, the student might receive one detention and a three-page essay assignment explaining the importance of obeying the rules (plus a trip to the counselor). Balance is the key to successful discipline. When will we know that our discipline is successful? Success is when the student returns to the class and willingly follows our leadership.
In most situations, follow the rules and hold the line firm. Nevertheless, there are times when mercy is more appropriate than justice. Teachers are to be builders of lives. We must use our discipline decisions as tools to build students toward a better tomorrow. Which--mercy or justice--will train my student for their future? Seek to build better citizens, rather than create bitter students. Remember, discipline is always FOR the student and never AGAINST the student.
Dear God, Teach me balance. Thank you for the mercy you have shown me in my life when I failed. Teach me to recognize my students' need for justice and mercy. Give me the wisdom to appropriately respond in each discipline situation I encounter. Fill my heart with love for each of my students--especially the one that gives me so much trouble.
CORRECTION VERSUS PUNISHMENT
1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
When correcting, restoration is our ultimate goal whether we are dealing with students, a fellow teacher, a parent or our own children. Punishment just for the sake of punishment becomes vengeance. Teachers must respond to students with "purpose" rather than "anger."
Loving correction often includes consequences, but the ultimate goal is not the punishment but rather the corrected attitude and behavior. A leader's wrong attitude in the process of correction may stop the outward offense but will embitter the child inwardly and reinforce his determination to be independent of our leadership. Matthew 15:19 tells us that a man's thoughts rule his actions. In major offenses or continually repeated disobedience, students can best be corrected by including a time-out period with individual instruction and introspection to bring new understanding and insight into the motivation behind his misbehavior. If this is done with love and true concern for the child's future--not just punishment--leaders will often see a heart change and growth in maturity.
The student's offense was not against you, personally; a student's misbehavior is against the position you hold. It is not until you, the person, offend him that it becomes a personal issue. The student will not know the difference; but you, the teacher, must understand so you can keep your emotions out of the conflict. Remember to train immaturity and discipline rebellion. Ask God for discernment to understand which situation. It is--immaturity (not knowing) or rebellion (refusing to obey). When you have the answer, respond accordingly.
Do not repay evil for evil, but rather bless students with your concern for their future. Help them to see how misbehavior affects their lives. A future job may be lost, a marriage may break up, or an arrest may happen if the behavior continues into adulthood. Love the child by leading him/her to correct behavior and self-discipline.
Dear God, Help me to be mature enough to love the unlovely child, to see past his immaturity and rebellion into his future. Help me to correct him, in love, for his future; I want to bless and not curse.
REST FOR THE WEARY
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
When the cares of the world press in on you, and you feel you do not have the strength to teach, stop a few minutes and talk to God. There is no problem too great or too complex that God cannot bring a solution. Rest comes when we become as a little child and trust God.
A master teacher has learned to put aside personal problems and take on the responsibility and concerns of the classroom. With God's help and your understanding of Jesus' words in Matthew 11, you can enter your classroom peacefully and confidently even when your personal life is unsettled.
In reality, only God is big enough to solve your difficulties. Not one minute of worry can change your situation. Not one minute of fretting can protect someone you love. Not one minute of regret can change what happened yesterday. The only answer is your ability to exchange "burdens" with Christ. Leave your burden at the cross and pick up His burden (the work of the Kingdom). Rest comes through trust. There is no other way. It begins with a decision--an act of your will, but it is completed by the power of an Almighty Creator who is touched by your feelings of pain. He is concerned, and in His time He can, and will, make all things beautiful. You can rest through prayer, praise, and trust.
Dear God, Please help me to trust you more. I roll all of my burdens on you today. Take care of them as I set my thoughts and actions toward the task of teaching. I choose to trust you. I will not be afraid, or dismayed.
HELP ME NOT TO BECOME WEARY IN WELL DOING
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Most jobs, sooner or later, become tiresome, less motivating, and/or difficult. There may be something about your job that makes you struggle, or there may be people on your team that steal the enjoyment of your job. Life is made up of struggle and reward. Pain and joy have been an interwoven expression of life for all time. In fact, without pain, joy seems mediocre; without a struggle, the reward is unappreciated.
As the days go by, the exciting beginning of school changes to the methodical schedule of day-in and day-out routine and changes into the uphill climb of the century during the last quarter of the year. Remember "in due season" you will see the benefit; don't faint!
During these difficult times, sleep more, eat right, exercise, and spend more time in prayer. Each of these will help to strengthen you for the climb. Try helping a fellow teacher who is struggling or overloaded. Turning your thoughts and energy outward to help another person who is struggling can help you get your situation into perspective. As we give our time and energy to meet others’ needs, God will restore energy and time to us. Try making a list of every project that needs to be done. Number those items according to what needs to be done (first, second, third, etc.) Next, begin to do each project in the order of priority. A sense of accomplishment will build as you begin to complete these smaller goals. Being overwhelmed and weary is often a signal of our need to re-focus our priorities, and change our current strategies. Consider postponing larger, long-term projects until summer break when you have more time to concentrate and plan. If you see that you don't have the time or energy to try your new ideas this year, plan to start fresh with it next year.
Should you decide that you need to talk with someone concerning your struggles, choose a person with wisdom. Pity and agreement are not what you need. Pity may cause you to sink deeper into your pit. Seek wise counsel from someone who will be concerned, but also be realistic in helping you restructure your approach to your difficulties.
Dear God. Teach me again to take my eyes off of my struggles and myself. Help me to refocus and set my eyes on the goal set before me. Give me wisdom through counsel for the issues I can’t seem to overcome. My heart is to be a helping hand wherever I go--a servant of the Most High God. Lead me with your loving Spirit.
HELP ME NOT TO BE NERVOUS ABOUT EVALUATIONS
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Most teachers dread teacher evaluations, even experienced teachers. The thought of being graded and "written up" makes our knees knock and our heads reel. We fear criticism and rejection from our supervisor.
We must not allow ourselves to be overcome with fear. God is the greatest authority in our life. He is a constant companion throughout our daily tasks, and He knows the very desires of our heart. No success or failure goes unnoticed by Him. No gentle touch or harsh word goes unheard by the Creator of the Universe. As we do everything, word or deed, we should do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, Our ultimate goal is to please God.
If we please God, who is the highest authority, then anything a principal says will be secondary. We can welcome the comments and suggestions made by our principal when we understand that our supervisor is a tool from God sent to teach us a better way. You can have a calm, secure, and teachable spirit during evaluations because you want to be the best you can be. Like a child responds to a parent or a student to a teacher, you can respond to your principal with respect and a willingness to learn.
Get excited about your principal's visits to your classroom. You can look forward to learning new or better ways of doing things. Consider your principal working "for" you, not "against" you. Don't be rigid. If you are doing something out of the ordinary, like standing on top of your desk, when your principal walks into your class, continue teaching. You can give an explanation to your principal later. Don't feel guilty. Since your principal has been in the classroom, he/she will probably understand your explanation. If not, learn from the comments. If your supervisor chooses to suggest an alternate action for the future, accept his/her opinion and decide to follow the directives. You can become a better teacher as you submit to your principal's instructions and allow him/her to lead you. Every principal can teach you something! Of course, if you strongly disagree with your principal's requirements, you can always make an appeal. But, remember that appeals must always be done respectfully and privately.
Dear God, Thank you for my principal and the instructions he/she offers to me. Help me to be pliable enough to learn from all instruction whether I immediately understand it or not. Teach me to welcome the principal's visits.
TEACH ME TO BE A PATIENT LEADER
Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
Unfortunately, many of us were not born with an easy-going temperament. Instead, we must build self-control through trials and tests. In the midst of these learning experiences, we can count it all joy. Why? Because we can teach our students the secret of overcoming a temper as we conquer our own personal battles. The teacher who overcomes has a life message of victory. They can offer specific direction and counsel to students who struggle with similar temper difficulties. A patient teacher is loving, yet decisive, in control, understanding and wise. The godly character displayed in this teacher's life can help to equip students with skills needed to work with his/her fellowman.
"Sounds great, but I'm on the other end of the spectrum--the quick-tempered teacher. What do I do?" you ask. Perhaps you need to meditate on the "fruit" or result of a quick-temper. A quick-temper will:
1. negate your authority,
2. dull your Christian testimony,
3. be seen as a weakness by your class,
4. make your day to day experiences miserable for you.
Once students learn to push your buttons, they will play "the game” over and over again. The students secretly know that they win the battle when you lose your cool. They may even joke and make your temper a matter of conversation with other students. As a professional leader, you cannot afford the luxury of showing your anger.
Here are some suggestions that may help. Meet with your principal or a friend to discuss specific situations that stir up your anger. Seek counsel that may give you insights and solutions to the problem. Identify the student(s) who push your buttons and determine a plan of action for the next attack. For instance, you may decide that “Johnny—or Joni” will be placed out in the hallway anytime you feel anger building toward his/her behavior. It’s better for the student to have “time out” than for you to lose your cool. You may discover that your discipline has not been methodical and consistent within your classroom. Correcting this may relieve the tension and regain the control needed.
Discipline is never you against the students. Rather it is the student against the rules or the students against your position (teacher). You are simply the policeman who writes out the ticket and gives the student what he has earned. Your emotions should not be involved. It is your responsibility to train your students. Teachers never "get back at a student." That is a child's approach. As an adult, you are to "train and reprove" and lead the student into more mature actions and thinking. Keep short accounts--don't let anger build. Pray for students who irritate you. Practice a controlled response privately when there is no conflict--rehearse for the real thing until the response feels more natural. With God's help and your steadfast determination, you can overcome discipline issues in your classroom.
Dear God, Make me like you--patient, loving and firm. Give me the courage to discipline with purpose rather than anger. Teach me to act out of responsibility rather than react out of personal rights!
TEACH ME HOW TO CREATE THE BOND OF PEACE
Ephesians 4:2-3 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
The atmosphere of your classroom will be determined by your attitude. A principal can feel the difference in classrooms when walking through the hallways. There are joyful, fun-loving teachers; strict, no-nonsense teachers; diligently detailed teachers; and quiet, gentle teachers. All of these personalities can be successful in the classrooms. But a teacher with a negative attitude, whether they are angry, unforgiving, uncaring, uninterested, or arrogant, will have difficulties with discipline.
Jesus told us that the greatest leaders among us would be great servants (Matthew 23:11). A teacher is a servant. We are called to serve, to teach, and to share the knowledge that God has so graciously allowed us to learn. Teachers must never have a proud spirit. Our age, education, and experience have equipped us. We must approach our classroom with humility, but also with confidence knowing that God has supplied us with a message to teach.
As conflicts arise, we must do our best to ponder our childish mistakes from our past. Remembering our own mistakes will help us find a balance in discipline as we realize that many mistakes are due to immaturity, not rebellion. If a student is rebellious, we are to give firm discipline and encourage them to change the defiant behavior. If the student lacks understanding or forgets, we must re-teach as we discipline. Two students can display exactly the same behavior for two different reasons--rebellion or immaturity. The only way we can determine which applies to the particular offense is to allow the student to explain. Be patient and listen to what the student says "beneath" the explanation.
Love the child as you discipline. The Love of Christ can help you understand the student who challenges you repeatedly. He/she is a child. He/she is immature. He/she does not see events through the same seasoned, mature, experienced eyes that you do. Gently, lovingly, and firmly deal with students "for" their good” and, "for" their future. Draw from the love of God within you, and get rid of any negative emotions you have before you discipline. Teachers are the adults; students are the children. Pride can block your ability to do this. You must lay pride down and replace it with a grateful heart, full of humility and service to God's Kingdom.
Dear God, Discipline seems to be the hardest part of my job. I choose to lay down my pride and pick up a servant's attitude. Help me to learn your ways as I teach my students.
I AM READY TO GROW UP
1 CORINTHIANS 13:11 When I was a child I talked like a child. I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
Children, in their negative traits, are self-centered, stubborn, self-willed, rebellious (testing boundaries), unable or unwilling to reason with facts, easily angered, sneaky, gullible, destructive, not dependable, fickle, rude, insensitive, and sometimes deceitful. On the other hand, their positive traits include being innocent, trusting, carefree, teachable, flexible, loyal, and forgiving. Scriptures give us two concepts regarding "putting away childish ways." The above verse clearly indicates that we are to move away from childish talking, thinking and reasoning. However, Jesus taught that unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Doesn’t this seem to be a paradox?
While Paul encourages us to throw away the negative traits of childishness as we grow into complete maturity, Jesus reminds us to cultivate and grow even more the positive traits of a child. The negative traits can be summed up in two words--self-centeredness and rebelliousness (the flesh). Paul encourages believers to crucify the flesh daily. We are to become willing to obey and follow God's commands and not our own desires. On the other hand, the positive traits are summarized in one word--trust. God is asking us to retain our child-like trust while we die to our selfish ways.
It is helpful to remind ourselves of the difference between children and adults. We cannot expect children to act like adults without training and maturity, but we MUST require mature action and thinking of ourselves. It makes sense that we, the adults, would have more tolerance and understanding of them than they would of us. We must be prepared to quietly and consistently train, reprove and correct as the situation requires. We must not condemn the child for being childish. We should accept him for where God has him--a child. We should continually require adult maturity from ourselves. God can help us when we are willing to ask Him for wisdom and understanding.
Dear God, I desire to be spiritually and emotionally mature. Remind me of who I can be in Christ when I get angry or disheartened with my students. Help me to mature fully into the adult leader that pleases you.
TEACH ME TO STAY IN THE BOUNDARIES OF MY JOB
Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment.
It amazes me how staff and teachers always have better ideas than administrators and principals do, and how students always have better ideas than teachers do. In fact, it seems that my superiors always made decisions that were unfair, thoughtless, and required too much unnecessary work. Does that sound familiar?
I must admit that I experienced these feelings as a child, as a student, as a secretary, as a teacher, as a principal, and as a school administrator. In fact, I cannot think of any of my jobs where I did not, at one time, experience these feelings of frustration and discontent. However, as I progressed up the "ladder" of leadership, I made a discovery. Decisions always seem much more simple, clear-cut, and obvious to those who do not have to make them than to those who carry the responsibility of leadership. For instance, a student feels it is a simple thing to dismiss school. “If everyone is tired, then we should just dismiss for a day of rest.” Sounds simple, but leaders know that this is not reasonable. Feelings cannot be our measurement of attendance. Although this seems naive, the decision you are questioning from your authority may be as simple and clear-cut to your boss and not to you.
The basic principle is "know your place.” Know when you have the authority to make a decision and know when a decision belongs to a higher authority. Do not cross the line. Know the boundaries of your responsibilities and decision-making privileges. Learn to obey directives quickly, quietly and gladly. When you cannot find peace with the decision, prayerfully prepare to make a private appeal to your leader. Offer an alternative solution as you express your concern. Be careful! If you are constantly questioning or appealing your authority's decisions, you will negate the validity of your appeals. In fact, your appeals will probably never be seriously considered. Save your appeals for the important issues. Obey without comment or conflict for the smaller issues. Choose your battles carefully.
Dear God, Teach me to be a good follower. Help me to understand that my supervisor may be basing decisions on a bigger picture than mine. Give me the grace to understand and accept your principles of authority. Teach me satisfaction in my job.
FAVORITISM BRINGS TROUBLE
Genesis 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him.  When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
Favoritism occurs throughout the book of Genesis. Isaac was favored over Ishmael. Then Isaac preferred his oldest son, Esau and Rebecca preferred the youngest boy, Jacob (Genesis 15:27-28). Jacob later is forced to marry Leah before he can marry Rachel (his true love). He showed preference to Rachel (Genesis 29:28-30). Jacob also showed an open display of favoritism toward Joseph over his other brothers by giving him a colorful coat.
In each case. there were prices paid for this preferential treatment. Again and again, hard feelings developed. Isaac's sons never learned to honor each other. His youngest son deceived Jacob and stole his brother’s birthright and then fled for his life. He stayed in another land for several years for safety. Leah, the wife Jacob did not choose, spent her entire life having children for Jacob trying to gain his approval (which she never did). Her unhappiness and desire to be loved can easily been seen through the things she said as she named her children--Reuben (the Lord has seen my misery--Gen 29:28); Simeon (because the Lord heard that I am not loved--Gen. 29:33); Levi (at last my husband will become attached to me--Gen. 29:34); Judah (This time I will praise the Lord--Gen 29:35). Joseph’s brothers hated him because of his special treatment, so they sold him into slavery and allowed his father to believe that he was killed by an animal.
When a teacher favors a student, the entire class will reject that student. They will also become very angry with the teacher. It is natural for some personalities to be more appealing to us than others, but we must consciously work at not preferring one student over another. The fruit that comes from such seeds are destructive. If you hear a student accuse you of having a teacher’s pet, do not take it lightly. You may be preferring students without your realizing it. Check you heart and your actions.
One way to avoid this pitfall, is to determine in your heart to involve each student in your discussion and times of participation. Methodically keep a mental check to make sure that even the quietest, nonparticipant is encouraged to perform. You will build relationship with your entire class as you make it a point to be aware of each student every day.
DEAR GOD, EACH STUDENT IS FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE BY YOU. HELP ME TO SEE THE “UNIQUENESS" OF EACH CHILD. ALERT ME TO ANY FAVORITISM IN MY LIFE AND GIVE ME THE WISDOM TO AVOID THIS PITFALL.
GIVE ME THE RIGHT WORDS IN TIMES OF CONFLICT
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Sometimes you have "just had it.” Your patience wears thin with students who test the boundaries. Students want to know whether you will stand firm or collapse under the pressure of their misbehavior. Classroom rules are essential. If you fail to enforce the rules, you will lose more than a battle; you will lose the students’ respect. You cannot afford to give up or give in. Students are more secure when the teacher enforces boundaries.
God is our refuge during these stressful times. Since deep meditation and prayer are not possible, you must depend on the constant abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. A silent, inward cry for help brings the heavens to stand alert. Ask God for help. Do not rely on your own stamina and abilities. God's supernatural wisdom and strength are available to you in an instant. Just ask.
Be slow to speak! Allow yourself time to think before saying or doing anything. Lectures do not work on repeated offenses! Have a plan of action before the conflict. Follow the plan. (Stress often indicates that you have not followed the discipline plan consistently.) You are in charge. Anger is unnecessary! Anger belittles your position and causes you to lose your students' respect. Love the child--correct the behavior. The behavior is not the child; the misbehavior is his childishness! Foolishness is found in the heart of a child, but correction helps set him on the right path again. (Proverbs. 22:15)
Seasoning our words with grace and salt (love and firmness) will eventually help students to understand that you are working "for" them and not against them. Consistent training in self-control will teach students respect and obedience. Most misbehavior will gradually fade with loving correction. Be loving and firm with a serving and caring attitude. Without grace and love, your students may perceive your firmness as a personal attack.
Dear God, I want to control my tongue when students push me too far. When I have to be salt to cleanse the behavior of my students, letit always be for their good and not because I am angry o
TEACH ME TO RESTORE AS I DISCIPLINE
Galatians 6:1 ... if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.
Discipline without restoration leads to bitterness and long-term malice. Students are children. Even eleventh and twelfth graders are kids in large bodies. They think like a child and act like a child. Discipline should direct students to the right path. When the teacher explains the correct response and appropriate attitude for a particular situation, students begin to understand right from wrong. They learn from our patient instructions and our consistent examples. However, unless our own actions portray maturity and grace, we will negate the words we teach by what we do. Our actions will speak louder than our words!
Love must permeate our speech as we correct our students. We must discipline "for" them--not for ourselves. When this is true, we will never allow anger to rule in our hearts. We will understand that the student’s actions were not against us, but against the position of authority that we represent. Defend that position with actions not with anger.
Once the consequence of discipline has been discussed and administered (whether it is a loss of privilege, instruction, or some other form of correction) it is time to restore the child. Restoration can usually come quickly by reaffirming the child--"Johnny, I care about you and about your future. I know that you want to do better, and, with God's help, you will. Let's get back to the classroom and get on with our work. Okay?" The greatest message that can be given to a person who has messed up is -- You are still okay; everything's back to normal; let's try again; I am not mad at you. A smile, a pat on the back, asking the student to do something for you during the class period or asking him a question during class discussion assures the student that everything is back to normal.
Dear God, Help me to always restore my students--not just to right action but also to right attitude. Prick my heart when my attitude becomes vindictive instead of loving toward the offender. May I never drive my students to bitterness and resentment.