What You Do Matters: A Word of Encouragement for Teachers
Piles of grading. Irate parents. Disrespectful, disinterested students. Constant testing and unreasonable requirements. These, and many more things, conspire against teachers and try to bring us down. To discourage us. To make us wonder if we are wasting our time.
And today I want to offer you a small word of encouragement. – You are NOT wasting your time. What you’re doing DOES matter. Your labor is not in vain.
Teacher, Your Work Matters
I was going to tell you that there are students in your class who will look back on this year and be thankful for your influence. They may even be the one causing you the most trouble.
I was going to remind you that growth takes time and tell you that the seeds you are planting in young hearts and minds will grow and bring forth fruit, even if you might not see it yet.
I was going to tell you that you are making a difference. That there are students who care. Who are grateful. Who are learning. Who are growing. Even if they never tell you.
I was going to tell you all of this until I realized that all of these things pale in comparison to one very important fact.
God sees your effort, your work, your labor. And He is the only one that truly matters.
God sees the long hours and the shed tears. He knows your biggest frustrations and your deepest hurts.
He doesn’t overlook you. And He doesn’t take you for granted.
We put so much thought & effort into doing our best for our students. Into being the best teacher we can for their sake. And while we should emphasize the kids’ needs above our own, there is someone else that we should be serving above all else: our God.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:23-24)
This powerful verse reminds us that we are working for an audience of one: our Lord Jesus Christ.
When no one else seems to notice, He sees.
When no one else seems to care, He cares.
When our words seem to be falling flat, He sees our effort and is pleased with our faithfulness.
If we’re doing it all for Him.
So today, in the midst of the busyness, the frustration, the chaos – take a moment and remember the real reason that you are teaching. It shouldn’t be for the praise. It shouldn’t be for the satisfaction. It shouldn’t even be for the kids.
The real reason we are teaching should be for God.
And if we keep our focus on Him, it doesn’t matter as much what’s happening around us.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (I Cor. 15:58)
So don’t give up. Don’t quit.
Be encouraged in the Lord. Find the help you need.
And keep making a difference.
How do you encourage yourself in the Lord during discouraging days? Leave a comment in the space below.
Photo by Luz Adriana Villa A.