Should Teachers Leave Their Faith at Home?
Public school teachers, I feel for you. You have a challenging job, trying to make a difference in a system that wants you to disregard your faith when you step on campus.
I’ve never taught at a public school, but, according to our reader survey, over half of you do. And one of your comments has had me really thinking. One reader commented that while she enjoyed the religious aspect of this blog, it wasn’t helpful to her work (even though it did help her in her own spiritual walk).
This comment concerns me. I don’t know how many of you feel the same way, but I can only imagine that quite a few of you feel pressured to leave your faith at home (or at least in the car). That you’re wearing a muzzle most of the day. That you cannot speak the truth you know into the situations you encounter. That’s it’s not really part of your job.
But you’re wrong.
Your Students Need to Hear the Truth
It’s not enough for us to teach our students math and English and science. We must do everything we can to help them develop a true worldview – and the only true worldview is a Christian one.
I know many of you can’t get out a Bible and show your students where these truths are coming from, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them the truth.
If not you, who?
You Can Speak the Truth
There’s nothing stopping you from infusing God’s truths into your lessons, from counseling a student from a Biblical perspective, from allowing your faith and what you believe to infuse everything you do.
And even if you do receive some push back, you can be bold anyhow. This is what God has called you to do – and your job is incredibly important!
Are we just going to give up and allow the next generation to drift further and further from God? To allow them to believe all the lies and propaganda that the rest of the system is trying to shove down their throats? To do nothing to combat the distortion and deceit coming at them every day from their TV’s and smart phones?
We cannot just sit by and watch our nation go to hell in a handbasket. We are in a battle. You are on the front lines. You can make a difference.
It is not a lost cause – not as long as we stand up. Not as long as we engage our students both in the classroom and one-on-one. Not as long as we keep imparting truth and combating error. Not as long as we remain bold and unintimidated.
We Cannot Compartmentalize Our Faith
It’s easy to compartmentalize our faith – to think that God’s Word is for our private spiritual life but that we cannot take it into our public, secular lives.
But that’s a lie.
God’s truths are universal, and they should be such a part of our lives that we cannot separate ourselves from them. That we cannot help but speak them.
We need to know God’s truths. And that’s why I spend time on this blog talking about thinking Biblically. Because we cannot impart truth to our students until we understand and embrace it for ourselves.
God’s truths don’t stop being true when we walk into work. They don’t stop being true just because the principal or the school board doesn’t like them. They are always true, and they are always powerful.
Look for Ways to Speak the Truth
So, teacher, I beg you to look for ways to speak the truth. You have more rights than you make think. (Check out this great resource by Christian Educator Association International.) And you have more influence than you may realize.
You may need to be creative. You may need to get out of your comfort zone. You will certainly need to listen to the leading of God’s Spirit.
But with His help, you can make a big difference.
Public school teachers, we’d love to hear from you. Do you find it challenging to speak the truth in your classroom? Do you find yourself leaving your faith at home? Or does it impact all you say and do at school? Share your thoughts and experience with a comment below.
Photo by woodleywonderworks