Core scripture: “These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.” (Proverbs 1:1-2)
Message: I love Proverbs. There is no book of the Bible like Proverbs. Its purpose is to teach wisdom, and Lord knows we ALL need wisdom. You could write an entire sermon about one verse. Solomon’s statements are so profound! But don’t tell me to read Proverbs too quickly. I get tripped up.
Take Proverbs 10:1-2 where it says, “The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother. Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.” You go from wise and foolish children to tainted wealth. Even the out of the box thinking Language Arts teacher struggles with finding the connection there!
Do you ever wonder if Solomon was ADHD?
I need to read Proverbs slowly. Deliberately. I enjoy meditating on each thought. I read through Proverbs like you might walk through the site of Jesus’ grave, taking in each and every detail. The monstrous stone. The spot He lay. The stained cloths. The dingy smell.
Today, I want to try something new. I want to get my Solomon on to provide you all with end of the year thoughts. Let’s give this a shot …
- Patience is beginning to wear thin; be careful of your words.
- Adults sometimes lose their childish innocence; it is okay to laugh with your kids.
- Smile and remember. Recount all the fun times you had this year. Let your students do the same.
- What advice do your students need to hear? This is your LAST opportunity to get through.
- Think of the positive and good in each kid. Send them off with those thoughts marinating in their head.
- Showing a brainless movie is like waving the white flag of surrender. Kids can watch movies all summer. This is one last opportunity to enjoy time with them.
- Show a string of motivational videos instead. Discuss them when they are done playing.
- Play a game or two. Mum ball can get the energy out.
- Memorable words in a yearbook are like sweet honey. They last forever.
- Compliment each other. Have students open up and share how special classmates are. You get to chime in as well, telling them of the beauties they do not see inside.
- Take pictures! Make a scrapbook this summer. These memories will last a lifetime.
- Diffuse student conflict with love. Teach kids how to see the world from a different perspective.
- Play a song. Analyze the lyrics and talk about how the lyrics speak truth. Need a suggestion? Try the music video for Britt Nicole’s “Gold.” Or Taylor Swift’s “Antihero.”
- What if you wrote a positive note to each kid before they leave? I have had numerous former 7th graders show me my end of the year note at their graduation celebrations five years later.
- Say thank you. To the students. To your colleagues. To administration. To paras. To janitors, lunch ladies, secretaries. To everyone.
- Make a positive parent phone call or two. Tell a few parents how wonderful their children are. It might be the chicken soup to soothe their soul.
- Play a brain break song or two. I was cracking up watching my 7th hour students take part in “Mario Run” last week. So much that I snapped a quick video!
- Journal, discuss, and process through your school year. What went right? What went wrong? Ask yourself how to improve in the fall.
- Write down all the new things you want to do in the fall. You will forget them over the summer. Leave the note in an easy spot to find.
- Create a summer bucket list. Make sure the activities are what the Lord wants. Not you.
- Pray for the transition for your students into the next level. Quietly tell the believers you are doing so.
- Give each kid something to remember. For me it was an individual award to make them feel special.
- Play the “blind compliment game.” Have two students sit in the middle of the room facing the back wall. Then let the rest of the class go to the board to write beautiful kind things about them. They get to turn around at the same time to see the beauty they sometimes fail to see themselves.
- Tell each kid you want to see them in the fall. Even the ones that are hard to love.
- Share summer plans with your students. Ask them what they are doing. Taking interest in them is like life-giving water.
- Be careful in how you conduct yourself. Society is so easily offended.
I went to four graduation parties last weekend. This year I did something a little different. Instead of a gift card and quick note, I wrote each kid a letter. Not a note. A letter. Six paragraphs each. Each was individualized to what that kid needed to hear. I peppered each one with scripture to guide them in their next stage of life and included a coupon to get coffee this summer where I can pour into them one last time.
Proverbs. Wisdom. It sticks like peanut butter to your soul. Do me a favor. Pick a chapter of Proverbs to dive into this week. I can guarantee you will find much needed wisdom. Let that wisdom fill your heart and spill out to others through your actions. May your last week be memorable beyond belief!
Challenge: How will you end the school year? What intentional moments can you bless others with this week? Try not to be the teacher that ends the year with meaningless movies. Make the last week memorable!
Olivia speaks: I found this video last week. It blew my mind. So much that I had to comment about the impact it had on my students. Every middle school girl should watch it:
Scripture study: Pick any of the Proverbs in bold italics below and journal or discuss how they apply to the last week of school …
- “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21)
- “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)
- “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
Prayer points: Lift up the following areas to the Lord …
- Praise God for one last week to pour into our students!
- Praise God for the rest and recharging that is soon to come this summer.
- Pray for the transitions of students and teachers alike into the next school year.
- Unspoken prayers for an awful situation I am encountering this last week of school. I need wisdom, peace, and self-control. My mantra is going to be 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Suggestions: What is on your heart? Is there any topic you would appreciate a Christlike perspective about? Feel free to email me anytime at email@example.com, and I will prayerfully consider your topic for my blog.
Just for fun: So, while teaching yesterday there was a kid who punched her last ticket to earn a free pass to the back room for the last five minutes of class. The moment the door shut, my sweet little autistic kid who sits in the back of the class with his para said, “Oh, my, that girl just got a detention!” The entire class broke down in uncontrollable laughter, including myself. I love how the Lord blesses us with laughter when we need it most!
Prayer: Father, allow Your Holy Spirit to rule our hearts this last week of school. May we send these kids on to the next level with purpose, intentionality, and love. Amen.
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