who doesn't just love the smell of new school supplies? i think i'll be buying them when i don't need to anymore. if only these binders, rulers, and combination locks guaranteed a successful year. however, i can tell you from our public school experiences that these 5 actions can lead to a successful year for your family and your school.
1. cheer on the teachers.
these special folks have a standard to uphold from the district or administration. they have specific concepts to teach in a limited amount of time. they have to test, discipline, instruct, plan, organize and then find time to take care of their family and have a social life. so cheer them on. do this as soon as possible through a note or spoken word. let the teacher know that you are for them. do this and the teachers will be better off which means the students can succeed. let them know they have at least one parent in their corner. and to go beyond, encourage other parents to do the same thing. what an incredible year it will be to have 50-70-100% of the parents in the cheer section.
2. everyone make friends.
it will be the very words you tell your child. or the very words you ask after the first day of school. did you make a friend? who did you sit with at lunch? who's at your table? now ask yourself these questions. okay. you can change them up a bit. what parents have you met in your child's class? who have you introduced yourself to on various committees? who is on the administration? who is a new parent that looks scared of leaving their child all day? make friends this year. don't close in the circle, but keep your eyes open to those who need a friend...even halfway through the year.
3. literally walk around the campus and pray.
if you've been my neighbor for some time, you know we are be-lievers in this! i'm gonna step it up more this year and park my van earlier on certain days and pray while the kids are still in school. we set out the weekend before school starts back and as a family, we 'prayer walk' around the school. we ask the kids about their fears and excitement. we pray aloud and call out names of teachers and classmates. we want God to shine upon our campus and classes and classmates. we want God to protect us from the evil one and for truth to be spoken. we want our kids to be difference makers and grow in wisdom. we want school to be fun and safe. we give the whole year to God.
4. be influencers.
ben and i recently heard an amazing couple tell us how they coached their kids, "be an influence rather than be poorly influenced." we want our school to notice not necessarily what we do, but why we do what we do. we pray on the way to school because we believe that God will meet us there. we know our kids get fed, clothed, loved, rested at home and have all they need to lead at school. that's not the case with all their classmates. they have been given much to bless their friends and foes. ben and i use our words in the morning to empower them to walk in confidence, serve with humility, and lead with compassion. if our kids will be influencers, then they will raise the bar for our schools.
5. meet the need.
if you give to a need this year, bless your local schools. if the kids in our city have their basic needs met, we are making deposits into the next generation. consider bringing breakfast for the class so that they start the day with full bellies. if you know the teachers have just had a difficult transition or loss, leave treats or flowers in the office for them. email your teacher and say you're ready to give financially and anonymously to any need that arises in the classroom or in the families connected to the class.
don't have kids in the school system? i guarantee they need tutors, coaches, reading buddies, and tech support. they would be delighted to hear of your company's donation. if you love where you live, help us all make this school year a success!