By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, July 23, 2015

Right now, in the heat of summer the
educators in our congregation prepare for
another academic year. First-year teachers
ready classrooms and long-tenured
professors edit their syllabi for another group
of learners. My wife, the other Reverend Hall, is an educator, a
calling that has been embodied both in classrooms and in
congregations. Last year about this time she wrote a prayer for
those other educators in our midst. May it be our prayer for
students and teachers and lifelong learners of any age.

A Prayer for Teachers

May the new pocket charts, smart boards, and colorful folders,
May the desk decor and colored pens brighten every corner.
It’s the little things, O Lord.
May the students be awake and energetic to the exact degree
that the teacher is awake and energetic.
No more, no less, O Lord.
May the emails be short,
May the meetings be short,
May the phone calls just be . . . short.
Help us out, O Lord.
out, O Lord.
May the coffee do the trick and the technology just work how
it’s supposed to.
May the kinks get worked out early in the morning, and – help
us all – may the substitute be fabulous.
We’re not kidding, O Lord.
May they listen.
May they pay attention.
May they lean in with so much interest that they don’t care that
this really is Science. English. Art. History. Music.
Let them lean in and learn, O Lord.
May the teachers be brave.
May they dare to challenge, risk more, and not be afraid of
those who want what they want when they want it.
Give them some back up, O Lord.
May peace enter in.
Peace among teachers, peace among classmates, peace
among parents, peace at the lunchroom tables.
It could happen, O Lord.
May cynicism be trumped by lovely surprises.
May principals and teachers make room for delight.
It is the little things, isn’t it, O Lord?
May they be safe.
May they be protected from harm and hate and prejudice and
danger.
We worry. We fear.
Hold them safe, O Lord.
May our teachers truly see.
May they see each story, each potential,
each struggle seated in each and every desk.
May they see the ways they can be hope for these very kids
in these very moments.
Be Thou our Vision, O Lord.
May they remember.
May teachers remember what the essential questions really
are, and what called them to this work.
May administrators remember what matters.
May we all remember what it is like to be a kid in a classroom.
May this memory shape the very lesson plans.
And the moments.
Each. One.
For real, O Lord.
Amen.