Rector's Ramblings - November 2, 2023
Undoubtedly, some of you saw in the news this week that one of the teachers at Burroughs Molette, Helen Kennedy (5th grade), was named teacher of the year for Glynn County Schools! That is an incredible honor for any teacher. Teaching is a demanding vocation that touches many lives, and in some cases changes the lives of students in significant ways. I can recall teachers who shaped me in very specific ways, acknowledging of course, that all my teachers shaped me in some way. Similarly, I know from talking to teachers that there are certain students that remain close to their hearts, even decades after they move on. Those who answer the call to be teachers have been given an incredible responsibility and are worthy of our respect and appreciation.
One of our summer reading books was “The Teachers”, written by Alexandra Robbins. The teaching vocation, like many, is becoming more challenging, not less. Demands on teacher’s time and energy continue to increase, while the resources available to support their work are often flat or declining. During the pandemic we were afforded a clear reminder of the importance of the role teachers play in the lives of our children, families, and communities when we were not able to send our kids to school for months at a time. Many parents got a first-hand opportunity to experience the struggle of managing the educational, social, and emotional needs of their children full-time. In a lot of families, it didn’t go well. Even now, it is amazing to consider how teachers manage to navigate working with dozens of students and all that comes with it. I’m so grateful for teachers, because I couldn’t do what they do!
I do think we all know how hard teachers work, and I think that many of us would agree that they are often undervalued. This undervaluation is evident in how they are treated by parents and school systems, and often in terms of how they are compensated. We can and do support them in various ways (Woot Woot Wagon and Christmas in the Classroom being two recent examples), some of which don’t cost a thing. For example, sending a note of encouragement is much more valuable than the stamp it takes to mail it. As we continue through the fall, this is one of the tough times of the year as everyone rushes to be on schedule and at level before Christmas break. This is a good time to reach out and give a teacher a boost!
If you would like to join me in sending notes of congratulations to Ms. Helen Kennedy at Burroughs Molette, I am including the address below. If you would like to send notes to other teachers or administrators, thanking them for their vocation and all that they do for the children in our community, please shoot me an email and I will send you some additional names that you can reach at the same address. It is the hope of Glynn Episcopal Ministries that between our congregations we can pray for and send regular notes to everyone who is working so hard at Burroughs Molette – the school with which we have a formal relationship. If you know other teachers at other schools, consider doing the same for them! It will mean more than most of us will ever know!
O God, our Holy Instructor, grant teachers an abundance of Your wisdom. Prepare their hearts to welcome and love those entrusted to their care, and may we make sure to show them love and respect in return. Give them grace as they help students who aren’t thriving, courage to say what needs to be said, tools and knowledge on how and when to speak love, and strength when they feel weak. When they feel unseen, remind them that no moment goes unnoticed. They are shaping the future in one million small - yet incredibly important - ways every day. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of learning they share with our children. Bless them, Lord, and may they see even just a glimpse of how their faithfulness will forever impact generations to come.
Adapted from a prayer found on crosswalk.com
Photo Credits: both photos via Dreamstime.com subscription