Every Semester, Do This First

The spring semester begins tomorrow.  I'm not ready for a semester until I do one final task.  It's not creating and photocopying the syllabi, or setting up my course websites, or even printing the rosters to review the names of new students before the first day's roll call.  These are important task, too, mind you, but in my heart, I'm not ready for the semester until I visit my classrooms and pray over them.

I walk up and down the aisles, touching each desk and the back of each chair, and pray for each student.  I pray for their protection, for peace to fill our classroom, and for God's presence to infiltrate our shared space.  I pray for wisdom to teach and evaluate their work, for positive connections to be built, and for their academic, social, emotional, mental, and physical well-being.

Then I linger in the classroom in the stillness just a moment or two longer, preparing my heart for the semester ahead.  Then, and only then, do I feel ready.

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