Parents are the Most Important Teachers

1 05 2013

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Knutson,

You are to be congratulated! On the first day of class, I asked my students to name a hero or heroine. Kelly filled in your names on the index card I provided. How thrilled I would be if a son or daughter did this.

She wrote, “Together my parents taught me to be responsible, to be a hard worker, and to have integrity. As a teacher now, I see the incredible influence parents have on their children. I appreciate even more all they’ve done to be a positive influence on me.” I thought you should know that Kelly holds you in such high esteem that she boasts about you to her college professor.

Mr. Knutson, Kelly wrote, “I respect my Dad because he loves my mom and treats her with respect. He taught me to believe in myself and supported me in all my decisions—even my stupid ones.” Mr. Knutson, I am reminded of the Proverb that says, “. . . and the glory of children are their fathers.”

Kelly also stated, “I am grateful for my Mom’s sacrifices for her children. She raised us well. Now, I am grateful for her discipline. I know now that “the Lord (and my Mom) disciplines those whom He/she loves.” Mrs. Knutson, Proverbs 31 says that the children of the virtuous woman rise up and “call her blessed.” That is what Kelly has done.

Kelly describes herself as being a hard worker, respectful, and a perfectionist. These are wonderful qualities for a teacher to have. She also wrote that her greatest desire is to be a Godly woman. What a wonderful influence she will be on the youth of our nation. Thank you for instilling in her such an admirable spirit. With parents on her side whom she admires, I know Kelly will continue to take on difficult tasks and win. She has made two presentations in my class which were carefully prepared and delivered beautifully. She is a gifted teacher. I also appreciate her pleasant disposition and attentive countenance during class. She is a fine teacher and role model for our young people.

If there is some way that you would like for me to personally help or encourage Kelly, I would welcome your suggestions. I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with your daughter. I look forward to meeting you when you are in San Marcos. Please know that I would be delighted to visit with you and your family any time.

Sincerely yours,
Beverly Chiodo, Professor

Dated: December 10, 1998

My mom handed me this letter last week.

Fifteen years ago and unbeknownst to me, this letter was written by a professor and mailed to my parents while I was working on my college requirements for my emergency teaching certification in Texas. I was newly married, and not yet a parent. I had only been teaching for two years and was still very much a rookie in a large inner-city school in a rough area of San Antonio where 95% of the student population was “at risk” and about 20% of my students in any given class were pregnant, had a child, or fathered a child. I had one student who was 22, married, and a mother of two. I was 25.

Fifteen years later, my answer to Dr. Chiodo’s question, “who are your heroes/heroines?” would still be my mom and dad, my first and still most important teachers.

Fifteen years from now, I wonder how my children would answer.

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This Is Why You’re Not Getting a Christmas Card From Us This Year (or maybe ever again)

6 12 2012

No More Christmas Cards explains how we came to our decision to NOT send Christmas cards this year.

So, the winner of what would have been our Christmas money was Safe Haven Family Shelter, by almost a 3-1 vote.  I was introduced to Safe Haven almost two years ago, and since then, both Caleb and Jason have joined me on various occasions to help provide dinner for the residents.

Besides the money issue, the other reason you are not getting a Christmas card from us is because this is it!  SURPRISE dear readers!  We’re going all-digital this year.

Many of you keep up with us via Facebook anyway, so you already know our year in review.  For those who don’t, here you go:

The Huddleston 2012 Year in Review

Matthew continues to teach physics and launch high altitude balloons at Trevecca Nazarene University.  He loves his job, and even took on the challenge of hosting a national high altitude balloon conference at TNU in June.

He finished his first (and possibly, probably, hopefully last) full marathon in April.  His goal was an ambitious 4:00, but he made it around 4:25.  This is incredibly impressive considering he only “trained” once each week . . . most of the time.

He has also completed several mud runs, the latest rage in running races around the country.  Now that he’s in a new age bracket, he will probably start placing and winning some nice prizes.

On a heavier note, Matthew’s dad, Mark, was diagnosed with colon cancer in October.  He had surgery just a few days after.  The doctors thought they got all of the cancer, but subsequent tests showed a spot on a lymph node.  He is currently undergoing chemo therapy once every two weeks for six months.  His doctors remain very optimistic, but we’d still appreciate your prayers for complete healing and for strength and endurance for Mark and Martha during this time.

Kelly (me) continues to teach technology and journalism/graphic design at Franklin Road Academy.  I also love my job.  I did NOT do a ½ (or full) marathon this year, and I feel great!  Triathlons are my new thing (My First Triathlon).  Having successfully finished three of them, I can no longer qualify for placings in the Beginner category.  However, being really a really weak swimmer, mediocre bicyclist, and slow runner, I wouldn’t qualify for placings in any category anyway.  Maybe when I’m 80 and still doing triathlons will I win something.

Gourmet cupcakes are my newest indulgence so if you are ever looking for a gift . . .  (I also love chocolate and a good extra sharp cheddar cheese.)  However, I really need to be eating more fruit and vegetables, so a membership in some sort of fruit-of-the-month club would be a better gift.

Matthew and Kelly’s (our) international trip this year took us to Nicaragua in July.  We met another one of the kids we sponsor through Compassion International.  Always an eye-opening, life-changing event, you can read about it here:  Open My Eyes.  You can also read about the amazing amount of fun hell we had as we hiked a volcano on Ometepe Island.

Next year’s trip is another once-in-a-lifetime trip:  india!  For three weeks we will traverse a good chunk of the country in June.  The first 10 days or so will be spent in Chennai and traveling up the Indian Ocean coast of south eastern India, mainly to visit two more kids they sponsor through Compassion International (link) as well as spend some time with a friend who pastors a church in a small village there.  During the second half of the trip, we will get to play tourist:  visit the Taj Mahal, ride elephants and camels in the dessert, visit Agra, Jaipur, New Delhi, and take a boat tour along the Ganges River in Varanasi, the heart of the Hindu culture.  Expect great blog posts to come from this adventure.

Other big news for 2012 included placing membership in a new church, Priest Lake Christian Fellowship.  Our former home church group, the Gathering, fizzled out as families found new churches around the Nashville area, so we started looking, too.  Being less than a mile from our home was a great benefit, but the people were the main draw.  We have never been to a more humble church where the Holy Spirit is so alive and thriving among its members.  It’s inspiring and challenging and moving each week.

Caleb is in fourth grade at Franklin Road Academy and continues to love school and excel in his academics.  To brag on this child for a moment, he has yet to receive a B in any term grade since he started PK.  He’s got his Daddy’s brains and aptitude for math and building things.  Caleb continues to love all things Star Wars, but his Pokemon obsession (thank goodness!) has come to an end.  If you know of anyone interested in buying a 700+ card Pokemon collection, please let us know.

Caleb’s newest obsession is legos.  The kid lives and breathes legos, which we are fine with.  He actually builds some really cool things, like a working flashlight—complete with an on/off lever and working bulb.

Caleb is also learning to play the recorder and trumpet, and we (as in Kelly) are trying desperately (and futilely) to get him to sing “This Song is Just Six Words Long” by Weird Al Yankovic in the Fourth Grade Variety Show in January.  Weird Al is another recent obsession of Caleb’s, and being the cool parents we are, for his birthday we bought him tickets to see Weird Al in concert in April when he comes to Nashville.

Caleb is a Webelo scout this year, and is a popcorn selling machine!  He sold over $1500 to win first place again in his cub scout pack.  He won an archery set, 8% of his total sales in cash, a $50 Walmart gift card, an LED head lamp, a patch, Predators’ tickets, and a trophy.  (Don’t get me started on winning trophies for something like selling popcorn.  Let’s just say, I’m not a fan of the practice.)

Caleb’s most exciting adventure this year, though, was his ER trip that led to a hospital stay for a couple of days at the end of August for pneumonia.  Despite this bump in the road, we are still tremendously blessed.  His asthma and allergies have plagued him something fierce this fall, much worse than normal.  We have an appointment with an asthma/allergy specialist next week so we are praying for something to help manage this better.

Jason started preK at FRA this year, and is loving it.  Being the second child, we did not work with him on things like the alphabet, drawing, writing, or reading much (hardly at all) before he started school.  Thankfully, the kid has a mind like a sponge and is taking off in the writing and reading department.  He also loves to draw.

Jason, too, is obsessed with Star Wars and legos.  At three he could recite entire scenes from Star Wars.  I’m not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed by this.  Did I mention he was three at the time?  The kid can build lego creations with the best of them . . . well, maybe not a working flashlight yet, but he can build really cool spaceships, race cars, jails, mouse traps, and monsters.

Jason and Caleb took their first official swimming lessons this summer.  Lesson 1 involved Jason crying and screaming for the full 45 minute session.  He had snot running out of both nostrils to his belly button when I picked him up.  He only cried for about 15 minutes of lesson 2, and by lesson 3 he was actually excited to go.  Now, of course, the kid is terrified to put his head in the water, which reminds Kelly of herself as a child forced to take swimming lessons.

Packer, our dog, continues to love to eat anything that falls on the floor including baby spit-up (true story) as well as grass to later make herself throw-up said baby spit-up.  She loves to sleep during the day and wake us up around 4:00 a.m. to pee and play.

Finley Bubbles the VIII, our beta fish, didn’t last the year.  At this time, we are uncertain if we will buy Finley Bubbles the IX.

Hopes and prayers for 2013:

  • Good health for everyone
  • A safe and amazing trip to India
  • Jobs we love
  • Caleb and Jason would continue to grow and mature in their faith, following Christ
  • Matthew and Kelly possibly beginning a new Marriage Builders home church group
  • Kelly hopes to begin working on her MBA at Trevecca in the fall

As we reflect back and look forward, may we always remember WHY we celebrate.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
-John 1:14

Love and prayers to all,
the Huddleston Family

PS.  If any of you find yourselves in Nashville and need a place to stay, we’ve got plenty of room and love house guests.





Appreciating Your Teachers

15 05 2012

Teacher Appreciation Day has been celebrated around the country over the past few weeks, my school included.  I began thinking about the things I appreciate most as a teacher.

  1. Chocolate, in almost any form.
  2. Gift cards to almost anywhere.
  3. Cupcakes in almost any flavor.
  4. Free food from almost anywhere.

On a more serious note, the things that make me value and enjoy my job are a little less tangible.  (Please note, most of these are directed to high school students and parents as that is the level I teach.)  As a teacher, I appreciate it when:

  1. Parents pray for their children’s teachers and administrators.  This is one of the most encouraging things a parent can do for me.
  2. Students are respectful.  Yes ma’am and yes sir still go a long way.  Taking pride in your appearance demonstrates you respect the rules, even if you don’t agree with the dress code.  Being on time to class says something about your character.  Trust me, all of these “little” things matter and have an impact on your reputation.
  3. Parents let their children fight their own battles.  If your child has an issue with a teacher, please encourage your child to talk to the teacher first.  If that doesn’t resolve the matter, then jump in.  The sooner your children learn to deal with concerns on their own, the better prepared they will be when they leave home.
  4. Parents let their children make mistakes and teach them to accept responsibility.  Some of life’s greatest lessons come through failure and bad decisions.  Don’t deny your children the opportunity to make poor decisions and mistakes.  You must also teach your children to take ownership of those decisions.  (I’m not talking about health-related or life-and-death situations.)  Better they learn those hard lessons in high school than in college or the workforce where the consequences are often much more severe.
  5. Parents follow through with discipline.   If your child’s whining, complaining, or whatever wins out, and you give in without disciplining as you said you would, you are teaching your child that 1) your word doesn’t mean much and 2) endurance—even when it’s a negative action—wins out.  Please do not train your children that all they need to do to get out of being disciplined is whine louder or longer.
  6. Parents teach their children how to handle disappointment in a godly manner.  No good will ever come from yelling at the ref or berating a teacher who “gave” your child a bad grade.  All you are doing is showing yourself to be a poor role model.

I was a teacher long before I was a parent, but being a parent has made me realize that I am my children’s most important teacher.  Ever.  I have a larger influence on them, especially in their early years, than anyone else. 

My habits—positive or negative—will become my children’s habits.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
-Proverbs 22:6





Perceptions

2 02 2012

As part of my teaching job, I oversee a co-ed group of eight freshman throughout the year.  We talk about anything from academics, to GPAs, to goal setting, to character and integrity.  We meet several times a month to connect and grow.

Last week, my advisory group and I did an interesting activity.  I handed out the following form on Personal Assets and Qualities of Character.  (It was double-sided with the exact same list on both sides.) 

 

Characteristics Form

Characteristics Form

 

The guidelines were simple.

  1. On side 1, circle 5-10 characteristics that you think best describe you.
  2. Underline 5 that you would really like to improve on.
  3. Flip to side 2 and pass your paper to your classmates.  Have them circle/tally the characteristics they think define you.

We took a few minutes to this, and most were a little surprised by the results, including me.  My experience echoes what several of my students found to be true.

 

How I perceive myself

How I perceive myself

 

How my students perceive me

How my students perceive me

 

Many of the attributes my students circled about me I thought were spot on.  Organized, detail-oriented, and prepared were all adjectives I also used to describe myself.

However, my students also described me as:  joyful, loving, friendly, and caring—all areas I perceive myself as weak in.  The one that made me chuckle the most was one student circled “patient.”  For those who really know me, that is probably one of the last characteristics anyone would use to describe me.  But I must admit, it’s encouraging to think someone sees that in me.

So what was the point of this activity?  To drive home the idea that our perceptions of ourselves do not always match how others perceive us, positively or negatively.  (Side note, this was a list of positive character attributes.  I wouldn’t recommend doing this was a list of negative ones.)   Some people tend to be their own worst critic.  Others grossly over-estimate their character and talents.  Whichever way you swing on that pendulum, this quick, easy activity will hopefully help you discover the that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.





Why I Teach

14 12 2011

Warning:  Serious bragging ahead!

In a culture where people are quick to condemn and slow to praise, it’s affirming when that praise does come.  I promise I did not make any of these quotes up, but following is a snippet of why I teach. 

No, it’s not for the amazing paycheck.  You don’t go into education to become monetarily rich, but we teachers are occasionally rewarded with something money cannot buy—a heartfelt thanks from students and parents.  Below are excerpts from comments sent to me over the years.  (All names have been withheld to protect the potentially embarrassed.)

    • “Digital Media has possibly been one of my favorite classes.  I have already recommended this class to many people that are interested in this kind of thing.  Thank you Mrs. Huddleston for an awesome class!” –student
    • “Mrs. Huddleston, thank you so much for creating such a unique opportunity. Your class was constantly intriguing, and valuable beyond measure. It’s been a haven to have a small relaxed class once a day, and your organization and predictability always gave me a sense of stability. You’re a wonderful teacher, and I’ll miss having your class.” –student
    • “I loved Digital Media and I wish I could take it again next semester and forever and ever and ever!!!!!!!! (I know how you love exclamation points Mrs. Huddleston!!!!!!!!!!!!)” –student
    • “I can’t believe Digital Media is over already.  This has been my favorite class, probably ever.  There are about a million other things I could say about Digital Media, but if I kept going, I wouldn’t have time to study for the exam.  I am going to miss this class so much, but at least I still have yearbook where I can see 4/5 of the class every day! (counting Mrs. Huddleston)” –student
    • “My daughter is in your technology class, and I have to say it has really been fun learning about her cupcake business. She has even mentioned dropping out of school, and starting a cupcake business (just kidding!) She has really enjoyed your class, and I have to say that the information that you are teaching our children is very relevant and important for their futures. Reviewing your curriculum, I told her that after completing your class that she will have completed her first MBA class. Thanks again for all that you do for my daughter.”  -parent

  • “It’s exciting to see (student’s) work progressing.  Wow, you are really preparing our students for the future-thank you!” –parent

  • She is loving the class and sat down with us last night to show us how much of a “wiz” she is at Excel now!!  Thanks for the inspiration!!” –parent
  • “Thank you so much for the sacrifices you make for our kids.  I know how hard it is to work and be a mommy.  By the way, we have been so excited to see this curriculum it so practical and something that 80% of all workers end up in the business world.  Thank you for giving each of these students hands on experience with this information.” –parent
     
  • “THANK YOU  for teaching and making the course so appropriate and useable outside of the classroom. (Student) has enjoyed you as a teacher and your class this year. I feel that the knowledge and skill he’s obtained in your class will help him through high school, college and into the real world of working.” –parent

Those of you in school or who have children in school, you have no idea what a short note of thanks will do for your or your child’s teacher.  I have held on to some of these emails for years, and I do go back and read through them, especially when I am having “one of those days” at school.

If you have ever had a teacher who impacted you positively, take a moment now and let him/her know.  Kind words are free, and they make excellent Christmas gifts.

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” -Proverbs 12:25





Post-IEF (How 2 Days in Seattle Changed the Way I Teach)

12 09 2011

After two intense, fun-filled, educational, innovative, amazing days, I walked away thinking, WOW!!  Over a month later, I’m still thinking, WOW!!

On July 28-29, I was invited to attend Microsoft’s Innovative Education Forum held on their main campus in Redmond, Washington.  To attend this conference, teachers from around the country had to submit innovative technology projects they use in their classrooms.  I was told thousands applied, and 100 teachers, representing 78 projects, from around the country were selected.  I was one of them, and I was the only one from Tennessee.  (To view my project, please see my post on the Innovative Education Forum.)

Microsoft HQ - Redmond, WA - July 27, 2011

Microsoft HQ - Redmond, WA - July 27, 2011

Upon arrival in Seattle, a day early, a small group of us were lucky enough to tour the Microsoft Home of the Future and Envisioning the Future Center.  Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything about them, because Microsoft could sue me.  Seriously.  The non-disclosure agreement we had to sign before being allowed in was intense.  Suffice it to say, it was A.MAZ.ING!  It’s unbelievable to think that some of this mind-blowing technology we saw will be readily available in just a few years.

Friday night we had a nice welcome reception at our hotel, the Bellevue Hyatt, and the craziness began Saturday morning.  We frantically set up our exhibit areas before a simple breakfast at the building we would call home for the next two days on the Microsoft campus.  Note for future attenders:  a 4’ x 4’ poster is the way to go for your display area.  Invest the time and money in doing a nice one.  You will greatly appreciate the ease of setup!

IEF 2011 - Poster Session

IEF 2011 - Poster Session

After setup, we had our first keynote address by Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules.  I had read his book the year before as part of my school’s professional development program.  While the book was interesting, it was a little dry, but Dr. Medina more than made up for that in his presentation.  He is incredibly personable, energetic, dynamic and really quite funny.  Especially intriguing to me was his discussion on how 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least times a week can significantly improve math skills (and the evidence to back this up.)

Next was the reason we even there—the judging and exhibition.  During a three-hour time frame, split up by lunch, each presenter had three judges visit them.  Judges were experts in their various fields and truly came from all over the world.  One of my judges was from Dubai.  When we were not being judged, we were encouraged to walk around and view the other projects.  One of the winners would be decided by the Educator’s Choice vote.

I was deeply humbled as I reviewed other projects and talked to some incredible teachers.  I remember thinking I was way out of my league after seeing other projects.  But someone, somewhere thought my classroom project was worthy.  Whoever you are, I thank you!

IEF 2011 - Seattle Underground - Learning Excursion Team 2
IEF 2011 – Seattle Underground – Learning Excursion Team 2

That afternoon, we were sent off by teams of five to various locations around Seattle:  the Space Needle, the Asian Art Museum, Pike’s Place Market, the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Seattle Underground.  My group, known as Team 2 or Chief Seattle, toured the Seattle Underground.  Based on our Learning Excursions, as they were called, each team had to come up with sort of cross-curricular project that could work anywhere in the country.  We were given time to work on this on day two, but a lot of the work was done after the conference.  Final project submissions weren’t due until August 31.  We will be voting, as a team, on the top three learning excursion projects in the next couple weeks, and the winning team will be awarded the final spot to attend the Global Forum in Washington, D.C. in November.

That evening we were treated to a reception at the Space Needle.  We even had our own express elevator, superb appetizers, and a Kinect set up for us to use.

Day two was a little more laid back and not so rushed.  We attended two workshops in the morning.   Our choices included learning about OneNote; using games in the classroom such as Kodu, InterroBANG, and Kinect; a global teach tech in which a panel of international teachers shared their innovative technology projects; and using Microsoft’s newer free resources like Photosynth,  Movie Maker and Photo Gallery.

Our closing keynote speaker that afternoon was Dr. Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken:  Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.  I also read her book before attending IEF.  You can read a synopsis of her book here: Reality is Broken.)  Like Dr. Medina, Dr. McGonigal got our creative, innovative, and technological juices flowing.  She began her address by having the entire room of over 100 people play a game of thumb wars in which every person was somehow connected to at least 2-3 other people.  What followed was a fascinating discussion on the importance of gaming in society and how gaming can help education.

Our final dinner together was down at the Bell Harbor Seattle on the waterfront and ended with nine amazing teachers winning a spot to attend the Global Forum in November.  The top two winners in each of the following categories will attend:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Knowledge Building and Critical Thinking
  3. Use of Technology in Learning
  4. Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom.
  5. The ninth spot went to the educator who received the Teacher’s Choice Award
  6. The tenth spot will go to the team whose learning excursion project wins. 

I was not among the chosen, but I am deeply impressed by those who did win.  The educators I met, befriended, and collaborated with left a permanent mark on me.  I left the conference with a list of a dozen ideas I want to try in my classroom this year, and I have already incorporated some of them.

  1. I’ve begun using Twitter with my students as another means of communication.  If there is any one piece of technology most of us have on ourselves most of the time, it’s our phones.  Twitter is fast, convenient, and to the point.  I’ve been using it to send out reminders and to post questions for bonus points on assignments.  I’m still new at tweeting, but I hope to expand its usefulness as I become more familiar with everything it can do.  (You can follow my classroom goings-on at HuddlestonKFRA.)
  2. I have updated the name of my project.  I never really liked the original name, Create a Business, but I never put time into coming up with something different.  At IEF, I finally came up with something better.  The new name is Entrepreneur 101.
  3. I have incorporated a “Best in Class” judging component into Entrepreneur 101.  After all projects have been presented in class, student teams will vote on the one project—not their own—that they feel is the best all-around project.  They will base their vote on overall concept, feasibility of the business, realism, creativity, design, and presentation.  The winning team in each class will receive bonus points added onto their project grade.
  4. I also hope to incorporate a “Best in Show” award.  With this, I would like to pull in a panel of three outside judges, business men and women who have nothing to do with my school or my students.  I will ask them to judge each project on basically the same criteria as mentioned in #3.  The one team among all my classes with the highest total score from the judges will receive bonus points added onto their project grade.
  5. I am researching a way to get a Kinect set up in an empty classroom for students to use during their study halls throughout the day.  Dr. Medina spoke on the overwhelming evidence that 30 minutes of aerobic activity (not weight training and conditioning) at least three times per week can significantly increase math scores.  I would love for those students who are struggling in math to be able to get some aerobic exercise during the day playing Kinect.
  6.  I have created a new project for my Tech classes called Project Innovate that will be done over the course of the semester.
    1. In part one, each student has to find 10 news articles that have to do with innovative technology in any area of life:  medicine, education, automobiles, athletics, fashion, architecture, space travel, etc.  For each article, students simply have to write a one paragraph summary.
    2. In part two, students will pick one of their 10 articles and present it to the class.
    3. For part three, I will split the class up into teams of 3-4 students.  Each group will come up with one innovative new product or an innovative use for a current product.  They will need to research how this new product will be made, where it will be manufactured, who will buy it, where it will be sold, etc.  Each group will present their idea to the rest of the class at the end of the semester.

This is the first semester I’m doing all of these things.  I can’t wait to see what will happen with everything.

  • Thank you, Microsoft, for allowing me the opportunity to participate in such an incredible conference.  IEF was a game-changer for how I teach.
  • Thank you for treating all of us like royalty.  Considering the economic hardships much of our country is experiencing, you spared no expense.  What a delight!
  • Thank you for affirming me as an educator and letting me know you value what I do. 

 I hope to return someday!





A Teacher’s Prayer

17 08 2011

Lord God,

Thank you for giving me another day on your creation.  Help me not to take advantage of your many blessings. 

Help me to be the teacher you want me to be—kind, patient, compassionate, gentle, and humble, yet firm and steadfast in the Truth.

May the words of my mouth be beneficial to the listener; encouraging and always building my students up, never tearing down.

Be at the forefront of my mind in all I say and do today.  Help me to use the gifts you have given me to bring glory to you in my teaching.  May I continually be a model of your unconditional love.

I pray for your peace, grace, mercy and perfect order to permeate my classroom.  May this space be a refuge to those who enter in.  Send your angels to protect us all from Satan’s tricks and deceptions.

Infuse me with energy, stamina, and perseverance to sustain me throughout the day.  When I am weary, rejuvenate me.  When I am frustrated, calm me.  When I am confused, guide me.

As you multiplied the fishes and loaves to feed thousands, take my meager efforts and bless my students abundantly.  Turn my failures into victories.  Satisfy the needs I have not met.  Remind my students of your presence when they stand at the crossroads of right and wrong.  

All I can give is my best, and I will continue to do that.  Help me to train my students in the way they should go so that when they are no longer under the roof of our school building, they will not wander off the right path.

I submit my students to you now and rededicate myself to the task you have placed before me.

Amen.