God, please bless everyone in schools right now. Some of them, a lot of them, are in mental pain, for so many reasons, some COVID-related, some not.
We are looking for a way out. One way out of the mental pain we are enduring may be related to focusing again on how kind you are, to find a softer mental state, a way out, through your kindness, because who is kinder than you?
Please go into all the classrooms – online and brick and mortar – now, using your angels or however you do that (I’m impressed!), and let kindness, your particular brand of kindness which is like nothing else, bless the administrators and parents and teachers as they struggle to bring real things, real things, to their children, who are going through the near insanity of those first days of any school year, let alone this one.
Please give us teachers who try to do new things – really new things that are better than the old crap we used to do – tthe strength to endure the rancor that some inflict on them in their buildings. Help them to see all that difficulty as coming from you, for your own special reasons since, as God, you have things to teach us all, and that makes it not so bad. I’m not willing to take any abuse from colleagues, but if it comes from you and it is there to teach me lessons, then I’m all ears.
You have taught many of us very successfully through past trials that we can grow through the suffering we endure as teachers, and in my opinion teachers suffer a ton.
Help us see our role in this phenomenal change that you obviously want and help us embrace it and bring strength and courage to our work each day, so that one day the teachers who make kids hate languages and feel stupid as language learners will all be gone, and kids will feel smarter in our language classes than they have in the past, so that it will all be new.
Many of the teachers who make kids feel stupid, who have – not through any conscious malicious intent on their part but it happened anyway – strayed far from the research, may they have their hearts and minds blessed by you, so that they can wake up. Teachers will wake up because you bless them, not because they work harder. It takes your blessings.
We know that all things come of you, O God, and not from ourselves. If we could just remember that one, it would be a big thing to remember, and our minds would be less tortured, more soft, and our students would see it. Like you did with Mr. Rogers.
May we all therefore receive your blessings, receive your touch, because just one instant of your touch, your blessing, what you came to give, is worth all the suffering we endure for our entire lives, and indeed – if one believes that stuff – the entirety of all of our lifetimes.
You brought us the research, it’s here now, and so now help us put it into place. We get that it’s time for that. We get that it’s time to grow. You’ve made that perfectly clear and all we have to do now is put it into place. I’ve been trying to do that for 20 years, and it seems so long, and I am so tired, but for you it’s just a flash, and instant, within your eternity, which is pretty cool.
If we can have as our goal this year the putting into place of the research, then we can play our part in healing our country, because if our kids, all the millions of them taking languages, feel good about their language class, feel that they can do it, then 1/5th of their day at least will be happy, and maybe that happiness, that giving-them-maybe-just-one-class-to-look-forward-to-going-to that day, will spread out to other classes and they won’t have to suffer so much this year.
May our work with languages be pleasing in your sight, and may we fully remember in every minute this year when we are standing in front of our students, or talking to them in those little boxes, that whatever we do that day is our best, and that through all the ups and downs of it, you are doing something that we could never understand but that we trust is perfect in thine eyes and that’s all that matters. Whether we are perfect or not is not our business but yours, and you know how to do it. So we can drop the perfectionism mirror now.
May we especially have your blessings this year on the online thing. Wow, right? The online thing? You’ve thrown a really great breaking curve ball to us in that one area and we are REALLY not going to figure out without your blessings and help.
May we do our small part with languages, which knit nations together, so that the world, your world and as our brother Voltaire says is the “best of all possible worlds” (and he was right on that one!) can start to heal now.
We go forth now into the 2020-21 academic year with all faith and trust in your loving guidance and compassion as we try, against stupendous force, to reach kids in the real way.
Lord hear our prayer.