A Language Teacher’s Bedtime Prayer

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35 thoughts on “A Language Teacher’s Bedtime Prayer”

  1. Paul Kirschling

    Salut Mon Ben!

    I read your prayer from last year recently, too. Not sure if you published it but it’s great comme toi! A good reminder – focus on the students, praise them frequently. God Bless.

  2. I was really taken by the statement in the first paragraph – that we are there to bless the students and teach them French secondarily. Good reminder of priorities. And as I can do none of this well on my own, I am so grateful for holy spirit power and a great community of tprs friends who encourage.
    Thanks for sharing. Your colleagues and your kids are the better for your ministry!

    1. This kind of heartfelt connection to our students is what EVERY teacher wants. THIS is why we’re in this crazy profession. Every other teacher needs this blessing and approach, even if s/he doesn’t know it. We are blessed to be able to do this, so many dear colleagues a totally snowed under with testing BS and scripted curriculum. I rode my bike in to work today and thanked my lucky stars. Ben

  3. Amen Brother! This is so powerful I am going to print it out and post it so I can see it each day before I go to school. It will be so helpful on those days where maybe I’m not “feelin’ it” for whatever reason!

  4. Right now I find myself “at odds” with one of my classes…Thank you for the re-focus you give us here…I needed it today. As always, it is easy to love the lovable, but we must love them ALL. Funny thing is, when we love them ALL we realize that they really were ALL lovable the whole time!

  5. Just before heading up to bed, I came downstairs, logged on, and came here for some last-minute ideas about how to approach tomorrow, using the TL 90% of the time as you shared so effectively in the LEAP document you provided. This prayer is exactly what I need. I will leave it up on the screen so it will also be here first thing in the morning. Maybe a little divine intervention sent you to post it again, Ben….

    Dieu merci,


  6. Thanks, Ben. It was a rough day today. Week 4, P-T Conferences coming up on Thursday and Friday, and some wild stuff at work. Plus, we had a chicken funeral yesterday at my house. All were sad. We are now down to 11 hens. Amazingly, the dead chicken is what pulled the PQA out of the black abyss this morning. Who knew.

  7. Grant Boulanger

    El gallo pinto se murió.
    Y esta mañana no cantó.
    todo el mundo espera su co-co-ri-co.
    El sol no salió porque no lo oyó.

    qué triste 🙁

  8. The perfect pick-me-up mid-day. Thank you for this, especially: “Please help us by sending in angels….whenever we are faced with darkness in one of our students. Let us say what you would say to them in that situation. ” There are so many times throughout the day where I pray exactly this. We are so powerful and have to be so careful with our words!

  9. Thank you Ben!

    How thoughtful and insightful. I think that we all need this and especially those of us who are starting with our kids tomorrow.
    Good luck to all of us in those shoes, and have a great day tomorrow!

  10. OH, MAN!!! I need this – thanks for reposting!!!
    Yesterday Elvira sent out a group text via cell phone (Sabrina, she says HI but didn’t have your number!!!) wishing everyone a get start to the year, and someone shared that they were starting with kids today and were scared. Elvira (teaching for 25 years!) said that every year at this time she gets nervous too and doesn’t think she’ll remember how to do it (she’s a native speaker!) but once those kids walk into the room it all comes back to her!
    I am holding on to that thought as well! 🙂
    WE can do this!
    Thank you Ben!!! and thank you PLC (my second family)

  11. Bernard Rizzotto

    In bed. About to turn the light off and I decide to check out the site for some words of wisdom to uplift me before my “rentrée” tomorrow… And here I find your ben-idiction!!! Quite surreal, really!
    Merci Ben.
    Bonne nuit les enfants.

  12. Rough start to the year for me: mixed classes, new part time job bound to a textbook, new tech learning curve…all distracting me from my #1 job, caring for the kids. This prayer helps me slow down and filter out some of the noise and remember to be patient with myself at this stressful part of the year. Thanks Ben for the repost.

  13. Chriss Sutherland

    Last night I was thinking of an inner dialogue that Ben exposed at the Portland workshop… “…the bell has rung and the kids are leaving and I’m thinking about what I’m going to have for lunch.” In other words, I don’t care what happened as long as I have provided personalized input in the target language in a loving and caring manner.

    1. And Chriss your point is not appreciated or even understood, in my opinion, by most language teachers. They are still under the illusion, a very deep illusion, that they are there to deliver instructional services with all the accompanying fanfare and absorption with how good one is at it. So much ego. But in truth all we have to do is drive the truck loaded with building materials to the job site and press the button that lifts the big platform on the back of the truck and let all the material just slide down onto the work site and drive away for a nice relaxing lunch, to connect to the metaphor you gave above. Who does the actual work? The workers on the job site, all specialized and talented and capable, all members of Unconscious Language Acquisition Workers Union #31, there in the Language Acquisition Device, which truck drivers cannot join.

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