Faithful Blogger

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Prayerful Teaching in the New Year

That we should serve in the newness of spirit….

                        Romans 7:6 (KJV)


Prayer and Meditation

 As a teacher I continue to recognize that I have been called by God for a special mission, a mission of service to His children.   As I put aside all of the disappointments, disillusions, and frustrations of last year, I ask for a renewal of my faith in God and a newness of spirit that will manifest itself in my family, my classroom, and my community.  May the Holy Spirit enable me to live a Christian life and prompt me to continue to offer my heart to others.


The Actions of Prayerful Teaching

  • Look back at the last several months.  Concentrate on all things positive.  What went right?  What was your proudest moment?  What was your greatest success story?  Perhaps you might want to write these moments down to bolster your soul in times if you experience times of doubt and despair.

  • Determine what changes you would like to see in your classroom.  Devise an action plan to make these changes a reality.  Change can be implemented at any time.  It knows no calendar date.  If something is not working, change it.

  • Promise yourself that you will try one new instructional practice each month.  Pick a monthly target date such as the third Wednesday of each month.  The new instruction practice might be a paper and pencil graphic organizer, involve a new technology, a rearrangement of desks, or a plan to streamline your work or classroom procedures.

  • Find something positive about each student.  Run the list through your head or, if you have time, write each student’s name on an index card.  As you uncover the gifts each student brings to you, write it on the card.  Concentrate on the students who have little written on their card.

  • Resolve that you will never hold a grudge against any student.  The actions and attitudes of students cannot be taken personally.  Always remember your calling and that you are the adult whom God has bestowed upon a special mission.

Challenge of the Week

At the end of the day, or at the end of the week, determine your proudest moment.  This will not necessarily involve your brightest, most eager student.  Chances are it will be a small step taken by one of your most challenging students.

God Bless and Prayerful Teaching,
Elizabeth A. Wink

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Prayerful Teaching Wishes you Joy at Christmas

I bring you good tidings of great joy
Which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day
In the city of David a Savior,
Who is Christ the Lord.

       Luke 2:10, 11 (NKJV)

May the Blessings of the Christ Child be yours this holy season.

Elizabeth A. Wink

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Prayerful Teaching Makes Room for Each Child

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn
Luke 2:7 (NKJV)

Prayer and Meditation

Though there was no room at the inn for the Baby Jesus, I will make room for each child in my classroom.  It is not good enough just to stable a child at a desk or table.  I will offer warmth and comfort, especially to those who so easily “blend in” or become “invisible” to me.  Because God’s love dwells in me and allows me to see His love in all children, I can make room for each child in my classroom.

The Actions of Prayerful Teaching

  • Modify and/or tier assignments.  This takes more effort at first, but the payoff is great.  It provides room at the inn for everyone.
  • Teach individual responsibility.  At the end of the day, give students an exit card on which they can record one or two successes of the day.  As they leave the classroom, they can hand this to the teacher.  Sample successes might include, “I worked without disturbing others,” “I asked for help when I needed it,” or “I followed my self-improvement plan.”
  • Telling students to “look back over the chapter and find the answer” will never suffice for all students and is the same as refusing some of them room at the inn.  They may need this skill taught and modeled a number of times.
  •  “Pay attention” is a meaningless and impossible command.   Students either do not hear it or are in the habit of ignoring it.  Replace this command by making room for something more meaningful.  Is it time for a change of pace such as a movement from the auditory style of learning to the kinesthetic style of learning?  Do students need to set achievable short term goals to see immediate success?  It is time to introduce a graphic organizer or other form of review?
  • Covering curriculum is useless.  Covering the manager with straw does little to upgrade it to a room at the inn.  Teaching needs to be reflected in what the students have learned, not in the curriculum that was "covered."

 Challenge of the Week

Select a student for whom there has been little or no room in your classroom.  Determine the reason for this situation.  Devise an action plan to give this child warmth, comfort and a special room in your classroom.

Elizabeth A. Wink

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Prayerful Teaching Inspires Students to Shine

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Matthew: 5: 14-15 (NKJV)


One cannot move forward without light.  Especially at this time of year we are reminded that Jesus is the light of my world.  May I have the wisdom to lead, to give direction, and to guide my students into the light no matter what form of darkness may surround them or smother their potential.  This is my mission as a follower of Jesus.  This is my mission inherent in my calling as a teacher. 

The Actions of Prayerful Teaching

  • Give students enough wait time when responding to a question or taking part in a discussion.  We have a tendency to rush, to “cover” curriculum. Neither students nor adults can instantly “uncover” their responses.
  • Create opportunities for all students to perform tasks and contribute offerings that light up the classroom atmosphere.
  • Recognize that shy students need to be made to feel safe and secure.  The shy students are often the forgotten students.  Shyness may be a means of self-protection or a way of escaping from pain.  Discover the light that brilliantly burns within them.
  • Bring to light and honor achievements.  They may be social, academic, or acts of caring and kindness.
  • Speak in a normal voice.  Raising your voice will not uncover the  light.  Often times it will blanket and snuff out the light.

Challenge of the Week

Select one student who seems to lag behind others, whose light is not so readily seen.  Assist that student in bringing the light out from under their basket and into the classroom.

God Bless and Prayerful Teaching,

Elizabeth A. Wink