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Wife, Mother, Pastor

Putting the Teachers First

It’s that time again. SCHOOL.  Many of our churches do what we can to bless our students and schools.  Blessing in a Backpack is a very popular outreach to those schools.  Now, hear me out.  I am not against this outreach.  What a great way to show students they are loved by the Body of Christ.  However, let me offer an alternative.

I’m a big advocate for making sure we put our marriages above our kids, our employees above our customers and our leaders above regular attenders.  Why?  Because when we pour into the top, it trickles to the bottom.  What do I mean?  When we put our spouse first, our kids benefit.  As a boss when your employees are put first, the customer benefits.  And when we pour into our leaders first, the rest of the congregation benefits.

So why not put the teachers and the administrators- the ones at the top- first?  Making them happy will in the long run help make our students better.

Last fall we started a new outreach that will continue this year.  The school that our church as adopted and has worked hard to pour into made baskets for all the teachers.  Love speaks in many different ways to people.  For educators, love speaks by not having to buy what they truly need- SUPPLIES. Teachers budgets are small, and anything they don’t have to buy is their love language.

But we didn’t stop at the baskets.  Each basket/teacher had one person and/or family praying for them all school year.  Each teacher, the principal, and the administrators were covered in prayer throughout the school year.

Each basket not only had extra supplies, but a card from the person praying for them.  They were told that they would be praying for them all year and left their emails if any requests were needed.  Cards followed throughout the year.  We even did a catered lunch for them the last day of school where some of the teachers got to meet those that had been praying for them all year.

This idea came about when I began making small gift bags for my kids’ teachers at the beginning of the year. You can check that blog out here. I figured if we can do this as individuals, why not for a whole staff who work incredibly hard and receive very little? Why not the whole church banning together to show the teachers just how much we care about them?

Here are just a few examples of what we put in our baskets:

All ready to load up!

All ready to load up!

  • Coffee– (obviously), K-Cups if they have a Keurig
  • Individual Tea Packets
  • Chocolate– (another obvious)
  • Cough Drops
  • Character Band-Aids– because even the smallest ouchie needs a band-aid!
  • Fun Pencils– a teacher told me this is a great prize for their students when maybe they don’t always want to give out candy
  • Snacks– Some are so busy grading papers that they may not have time for lunch
  • Beef Jerky
  • Kleenex– I get the Vics Vapor Rub kind since its special and can be just for teacher
  • Sticky Notes
  • Expo Markers
  • Sharpies
  • $5 Coffee Card

    One of our many baskets.

    One of our many baskets.

As I said, I have nothing against Blessing in a Backpack, this is just another angle to bless your school.  Our teachers were overwhelmed by the love that was poured out upon them this past year. I pray we will be able to do the same this year.

Also, you do not have to do large baskets like we did.  Many churches are like teachers and are working with small budgets.  Even just a pack of Expos with a coffee card and a note telling them they will be prayed for would be much appreciated!

Bless you all in your endeavors!

Loading them up to take to the school.

Loading them up to take to the school.

Your thoughts?  How do you bless your schools?

Unpacking the church van. We left the baskets in each of their rooms for them to find when they came the next day.

Unpacking the church van. We left the baskets in each of their rooms for them to find when they came the next day.

Pastor Mom Teacher Blessing

Back-to-school time! I’ve enjoyed my summer.  My kids have been home, I took time off from writing and spent time at the beach. However, I’m ready to send my kids back and get into a regular routine again.

This year I’m doing something different. I’m making sure my kids’ teachers feel blessed right off the bat.

Around March last year, I wrote both my school aged kids’ teachers a thank you card. One of which contained a Starbucks card (I still had no clue what my son’s teacher liked). I was blown away by how much this simple act meant to them. A month later, my daughter came down with a cough. Her teacher emailed me and asked if she could give her a cough drop. I said yes not thinking much of it. Later I realized, “She gave my kid one of her own cough drops! With 27 kids in the class, how much more of her own stuff is she giving?”

What does any of this have to do with being in ministry? EVERYTHING.  As Christians, we are called to a higher standard. And as a pastor, you’re held to an even higher standard- whether you like it or not. Though my kids go to a Christian school, and their teachers love Jesus, they as well hold me to a higher standard.  This means they need to know I am on their side.

Being immersed in ministry I cannot be the room mommy, a PTO chairman, or volunteer at every party/function. But I can let my teachers know they’re appreciated.

I chatted with a few teacher friends and here’s what’s going into my teacher bags this year:

Sharpies– all teachers love sharpies.  Who are we kidding? We do too!

Cough Drops– obviously.IMG_0724

Headache Meds– no explanation needed.

Chapstick– for our Arctic Michigan winters.

Chocolate– Duh!

Band-Aids– because if my kids go through a million band-aids, I’m sure what’s given to them in their first-aid kit isn’t enough.

Sea Salted Popcorn– a quick snack to throw in the teacher’s lounge microwave.

Healthy Granola Bars– regular granola bars are filled with sugar; get the good quality healthy stuff (I like KIND bars).

Herbal Tea– not sure if our teachers drink tea, but this will sure be needed after talking all day during the cold winter months.

A Gift Card– maybe to a lunch place by the school?

Tag– I found this cute & free printable at thecraftingchicks.com.

Remember- you’re showing the love of Christ here, don’t go cheap. It’s fine to be skimpy on yourself, but never on those you’re trying to bless. This may seem like a simple act, but look at this as an open door.  “People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.” (Theodore Roosevelt) Don’t forget a card letting them know you’re on their team and are praying for them- and do it.

PRAY WITH ME SISTERS

“Lord, with everything going on in my crazy life, please don’t let me forget to pray and bless my kids’ educators. Help me to be a blessing to them all year long. To be an ear to listen to, a light and witness.  If my child’s teacher isn’t a Christian I pray that this year would be the year of salvation for that teacher.  Help them to see Christ through me and my child.  Please open doors of opportunity with them.  In Jesus Name, Amen.”

 

What do you think should go in a teacher blessing bag?

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