coronavirus

Praying for Educators One Year into the Pandemic

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By Kerissa Armstead

Oh Lord, we need your grace, provision and strength.
We ask for your protection and that we would rest in your care.
Please grant us wisdom and perseverance, so this crisis will not be wasted.
Please equip us to carry on down this path you’ve set before us.

March 12, 2020 was the last day I had a full classroom. Today, I typically have 2-3 students in-person and the rest of the high school science class online. This year has been challenging in so many ways, and I hope to use this anniversary to lean even more on the Lord. I have written this prayer for myself and my fellow educators. Below, I will explain what this prayer means to me.

Oh Lord, we need your grace…

As educators, we know we fall short. We cannot be all that we want to be or all that our students need us to be. This year has shaken even the most organized, tech savvy and innovative in our profession. Pray that we would extend grace to ourselves, our students and the other adults we work with. Also pray that we would receive the grace that is extended to us.

Please pray that we would not grow weary.

… provision and strength.

This time has been so draining, and not just for educators. But speaking for myself and my colleagues, I know that we are tired. I am in my third year of teaching, when teachers usually get into a groove and things become easier. However, the last 12 months have been like a first year all over again. Please pray that we would not grow weary. Pray that God would provide for our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs during this time.

We ask for your protection and that we would rest in your care.

We are still in a public health crisis. At the time of writing, things are looking better, but school employees and other frontline workers are still putting their own health at risk every day. Those of us in-person rely on others to do the right thing to keep us safe. Pray that God would protect us, our students and our communities. Pray also that God would protect our minds from the undue burden of protecting ourselves and our students. Pray that God would help us do our part and leave the rest in his hands.

Please grant us wisdom and perseverance, so this crisis will not be wasted.

Some students have thrived while school buildings were closed. Some found relief from bullying, while others blossomed by creating their own schedules or finding their voice more clearly behind a mic or keyboard than in a classroom. However, according to Pew Research in September 2020, 59% of parents with lower incomes reported that their child has trouble participating in school because of either lack of internet access or lack of computer access(. The pandemic is exposing and exacerbating inequalities in our education system. I am inspired by the work I see going on to help bridge this “digital divide,” but I know it is far from over.

It’s hard to look at pictures from February 2020 and not wish for things to go back to “normal.” However, I know that even before remote learning, “normal” was not working for all learners. These problems have become worse with the pandemic, and they will not disappear with the reopening of school buildings full-time. We are at a crossroads and must decide to go back to business as usual, or create something new. Please join me in praying that the opportunity to innovate and address deep issues would not be wasted in my profession as we seek to build a post-pandemic classroom.

Pray that we would find ways to love teaching once again.

Please equip us to carry on down this path you’ve set before us.

This crisis is not over. A few months are left in the school year and even after summer starts, there is no clear end in sight of the impacts of COVID-19. We need strength to carry on, but more than that, we need joy. I know for many of us, this has taken away what we love about our jobs. Pray that we would find ways to love teaching once again. Otherwise, I am sure many of us may not last to help create the new era of education that I hope is coming.

I’m not sure if the end is in sight, or when we can rebuild. And no matter how we rebuild, nothing will be the same. So many people have lost loved ones or suffered unimaginable grief. Whatever the timing, please pray for our provision, strength, protection, wisdom and perseverance, and pray that we would mourn what we’ve lost while also trusting in God’s goodness.

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  • coronavirus
  • education
  • vocation
Kerissa Armstead

Kerissa Armstead is student in the SEBTS Biblical Women’s Institute program and participates in the Bush Center for Faith and Culture Mentorship program. She teaches high school science in Franklin County, NC. She grew up in Saint Cloud, FL, and now lives with her husband in Wake Forest, NC.

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