by Jasmine Holmes, 5th Grade Humanities teacher
My fourth grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Brown.
There are a lot of things I remember about her, from the flowing skirts she used to wear to the upsweep of her dark hair to the brilliant way she taught me to identify any and every preposition (a tool I still use in my classroom). But, most of all, I remember that Mrs. Brown was very kind to me during an extremely stressful time in my little nine-year-old life.
The summer after fourth grade, my family moved to Oxford so that my dad could continue his studies. A move to England and the switch to homeschooling brought on waves of elementary-level angst, but even as I acted out, Mrs. Brown proved a loving, patient teacher. Years later, when my dad preached at her church one Sunday, she found me in the crowd, grabbed my hands, and asked me how I was.
Mrs. Brown sits over a decade in my past, and her face is hazy in my memory, but I can still feel those unfailingly kind hands in mine.
Teachers have such an opportunity to show Christ’s tender care for their students. Look at the relationship between Paul and his beloved brothers and sisters in the faith:
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-6)
As we bid farewell to our students and teachers this summer, we can learn a few lessons from Paul… and Mrs. Brown.
Remembrance and Thanksgiving
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy…
Student, what is your favorite thing about your teacher? How does she help you learn? How does he challenge you? How does she make you smile? Teacher, what are some of the unique ways that specific students bless you? How has God uniquely gifted them?
So often in the melee of the classroom thanksgiving and remembrance is lost. In this last quarter of school, I encourage you to recapture it.
Prayer and Partnership
…because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
Most of us pray at the beginning of each class day after Bible, but how often do we think to pray throughout the day? The Lord has blessed us with a beautiful educational partnership, but beyond that, because of the unique nature of our Christian school, he has blessed us to be partners and co-laborers in gospel endeavors, and he has given us the powerful tool of prayer to take full advantage of this partnership.
Encouragement and Cherishing
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
How beautiful this promise is! As we near the finish line of this school year, we are dealing with all kinds of academic, personal, and spiritual growth. Whether our students find themselves stressed about moving to another country or moving to another grade, they need encouragement to persevere. The Lord is at work, and even in the midst of life’s biggest stresses and upsets, kind words and gentle hands can be a reminder of this truth.
This summer I once again face a huge move away from my beloved Republic of Texas. No longer the pouting student, I am now the teacher leaving her precious school. As I consider the kind of memories I hope I’m able to leave my students, memories of Mrs. Brown’s kindness flood my mind and the truth of Paul’s deep love for the brethren warms my heart. I hope we’re able to echo both during this final quarter.