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Faith & Teaching: A Closer Look at Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13

The book of Philippians was written by Paul while he was in a Roman prison. He wrote his letter as a thank you to those who had supported his ministry. He begins chapter 4 by asking two members of his ministry to work through their differences through acts of joy, peace and prayer. He even asks that they lift up all their anxiety, petitions and prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord. They can do all things because the Lord will give them the strength they need to overcome their struggles. Through all of this, the Lord asks that we remain kind and humble and in return, we will receive peace from God's everlasting love. Here is a closer look at Philippians 4:13 through the lens of faith & teaching.

Application I display this verse on the morning routine slide for my students every morning. It serves as a reminder for my students, and for myself, to do our best to learn new skills and keep a positive growth mindset, all with God’s love in mind. Everything is not going to be easy and there are times we will have to work harder or be patient when we are in the process of attempting new skills. At the end of the day, I want my students to know they are capable of amazing things. I want them to learn from the importance of a strong work ethic and persevering through academic challenges.

You are capable of amazing things. Reflection: Faith & Teaching So, let’s be real... easier said than done. However, living to attain peace, joy, and sense of accomplishment is something we all aspire. We are human, our students are human - we are all living in the reality of life. Therefore our focus on the task at hand must include God, our strength, because that relationship and connection will keep our goals ignited. We are capable human beings. With the strength God provides us, we will be able to continue on with the ups and downs of life with peace, faith and joy.

Let me put this into perspective from a teacher’s eye. . . are YOU ready?

It is the BEGINNING of what appears to be a typical week in the classroom. Lesson plans are in order, desks are rearranged, activities and materials are prepped, and you are about to greet your students on a Monday morning. Your students walk in and take their seats. Just during the time attendance is taken, two students walk in late, one is absent, one will be arriving mid-morning. One student shouts out something about the daily schedule. One student excitedly gives you a homemade card and a hug. One student looks half asleep, while another seems to be struggling with the transition from the weekend to the realities of Monday. One student eagerly has a question that you have already promised will be answered if he waits patiently. Three forgot to bring in signed permission slips. You remember you need to check in with two students regarding test corrections. At the same moment a student nervously comes to you asking if they can have “check in time.” You tell the student “Yes, let’s check in before you go out to recess,” while mentally adding it to your schedule. It’s now time to line up for resource class. Half of the class is following your directions (eager to earn those Dojo points), while the other half is distracted by their own agenda. Finally, the class is walking down the hall and you motivate individual students with more Dojo points to keep them quiet and respectful. The resource teacher gives a nod, her cue that she has everything under control. You walk back into your empty classroom. You take a breath before attempting to tackle the to-do list on your desk. All this in just the wonderful first 10 minutes of the day with our students. In my opinion, the two most important times of the school day are the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes. During these moments, the tone and atmosphere are set for the day. These moments can also be the most chaotic and unpredictable times of the day, so I find it important to have our classroom procedures in order so we can transition as efficiently as possible. Yet, I do not have control over the majority of the events that take place on an average day, nor can I fully prepare for them - fire drills, visiting guests, changes in schedule, copier machine is broken (again!), plus so many more!

But, what I can do is prepare for how I will react to each unplanned moment (calmly, in control, & willing to adapt). I can take a moment each morning before I greet my students to take a breath and ask God to give me strength to go about my day with as much patience and understanding as possible. You, too, can take this time. Whether you are the teacher, the student, the parent, the coworker, the principal, etc...our jobs require so much of our time, our diligence, our patience and understanding, our ability to act in a moment's notice. We have to be present at all times making sure the needs of our students are met - to make sure they are loved and cared for. I would not trade this job for anything in the world. Yet, in order to be present and feel prepared, I must prepare myself beforehand with a mindset that will remain in control and is willing to be adaptable. Part of that process is remembering the strength God can provide.

Like many jobs and tasks in life, teaching cannot be done alone. Shifting an anxious mindset to a mindset with God’s presence can allow us to feel more at peace, even when chaos may be all around. Even the simplest things can be accomplished with his strength and guidance. We can truly do all things through Him who gives us strength. We can be all we aspire to be. Blessings,

Morgan Elizabeth

faith and teaching

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My faith in Christ. Being a supportive wife. Educating the hearts and minds of children. These are my callings. I am so excited to share my journey, my inspirations, and my current projects in one place. 

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