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  • Writer's pictureDevoted Educator

He Calleth Them All by Their Names

Read Luke 12 and Luke 15.

When "that" time of year rolls around, teachers can feel it. A certain tension permeates the air generated, in part, by both anticipation of the upcoming break and the standardized testing that typically marks the end of the semester or school year. As we take measure of our students and their rates of growth in academic areas, it is critical to recognize, honor, and support the individual amidst all the group comparisons that tend to take place as data reporting processes line students up against the portraits of prescribed and average success rates. Yes, it is important for learners to know what the expectations are for them, where they stand, and how they can grow, but it is also important for learners to know they are valued, to understand that they are growing, to view the learning process with a sense of hope, and to believe they can make a difference in their own outcomes and even the outcomes of their peers and communities. In a season of closure, how can you recognize students as individuals and motivate them to view upcoming seasons of life through a lens of hope?

God sees all people. He does not measure the value of a person in comparison to another person. Jesus said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? / But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12: 6-7). The Good Shepherd rejoices when one lost sheep is found (Luke 15: 4-5) and "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:10). Every person counts in the eyes of God. Every student counts in the classroom.

As the end-of-year busy-ness and tension thicken, we need to be intentional in how we interact with our students and colleagues. Consider ways of helping students identify ways they can grow as well as see and reflect on their successes. Make eye contact. Listen. Smile. We all have a lot to do, but let's remember each other as we travel this journey together.

PRAYER: Thank you, Father, for providing opportunities for us to help our students grow. Please guide us as we help prepare our students and ourselves for the closure of another school year. We serve you, praise you, and ask for these blessings in Christ's name. Amen.

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