Core scripture: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Message: Be careful. Take heed. The vacuum of negativity can suck you right in this time of year. You get tired. Frustrated. All you see before you are the lies Satan whispers in your ear, and if you are not careful, you start to believe them. He has been peppering me with jabs recently, sweet nothings that torture my heart.
Your students’ grades have never been lower. Remote teaching is sucking the life out of you. You don’t even know the faces of some of your students that hide behind blank screens. They will never complete the District Writing Assessment. Why do you even try?
When your glass is half empty, the world around you seems dismal and cold. It is time to flip the script. Now! Whether you see it or not, good things are happening. God is working ALL things for our good (Romans 8:28). They may not be big, but small successes are popping up all around you. Pray that God will open your eyes to them.
Here is what I see:
- One of my remote students turned on her video for the first time in months yesterday and worked all through the class period. I almost shed a tear.
- Another resistant student actually worked with me on his persuasive essay, following my lead.
- Praise God I have the privilege of teaching amazing students like the young lady who won the school wide spelling bee!
- One of my classes is averaging an 89.2% and is missing a combined four assignments. I have never seen this much success!
- One remote student who had not shown up to my class in weeks has shown up three days in a row now.
- Another student came in smiling yesterday, saying she was so proud of herself for completing missing work.
- One gentleman turned in a missing project that bumped his grade from an F to a B. I awarded him with the King of the Week.
- I am praising a young lady, one of my remote learners, that e-mails me regularly with updates about her academic success.
- I have a remote student on vacation in Mexico who still comes to class daily and even participated in our first virtual FCA meeting.
- Another remote student came to class for the first time in over a week and worked all hour with her camera on.
- One of my remote students has to go on a trip to Mississippi recently for her dad’s work. She dedicated herself to Zoom for two days in the car ride down.
- Praise God for those quiet students who may not say much but get their work done daily, soaring higher than an eagle.
These are God’s responses to Satan’s lies. Small successes. They may not be huge, but if I focus my mind on them, light can overcome the darkness. And I cannot just stop there. I have to let these kids know that I see it! I have to praise them! That praise may be the only positive comment they hear all day.
What will ensue? Only God knows, but I know the students that feel empowered by their small successes will be more likely to produce in the future. That right there is honorable. Just. Pure. Lovely. Commendable. Excellent. And certainly worthy of praise.
Challenge: Get out a pen and paper. Write down all the small improvements you have noticed in specific students. Take that list, go the extra mile, and let these students know that you see improvement.
Prayer points: Lift up to the Lord the following prayers.
- Pray that God would open your eyes to small successes.
- Praise God for even the tiniest improvements.
- Praise God that our Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle had its first virtual meeting last Wednesday. Please pray that word would spread to get more Christian kids involved.
Prayer: Lord, help me celebrate my students’ successes, as small as they may sometimes be, to encourage them on. Amen.