What would be most effective in improving education in the Lone Star State? Increase teacher pay? Increase school funding? Reduce standardized tests? Yes. Not surprising responses to a recent poll by the Texas Tribune. Also among the top suggestions was Encourage teaching as a profession. The first half of Way #23 of the list of 50 Ways Your Church Can Bless Your Community Through Literacy. The second half? Honor teachers in your congregation. Logically when you do one, you do the other.
Picture this as a part of a pastor’s greeting or sermon in May or June: “A special thanks to all the teachers in the congregation. Another year invested in young lives. Would you please stand? You make a big difference in the lives of our children and youth. We appreciate you! And children and youth here today, you do well to consider teaching as a career choice. Think about following in the footsteps of teachers you admire.”
Or, in late August, show this lively video created by Preston Trail Community Church, to show appreciation and give teachers a boost before heading back to the classroom. (This is one of many inspiring examples of the 50 Ways included in the electronic version here on our website.)
Consider teachers you admire. Many computer passwords are linked to security questions such as “Who was your favorite teacher?” Who was yours? Is it possible to drop a note or an e-mail today? And who are the teachers in your congregation? I can think of several in mine: active and retired. One recently retired educator in our congregation – Caroline Bell – is on the board of Literacy Connexus. She leads our church in affirming the teachers at the school we adopted. A monthly snack or other reminder that they are appreciated means so much.
Back to the future: today’s students. I’m happy to report that I know a couple of young men at my church who are preparing to become teachers. Something they observed inspired them to consider teaching as a profession.
Good job, teachers!