5 Ways to Bring Life to Students During a Pandemic
By Dr. Bill Ziegler
Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Without a doubt, people today are scared for their lives over the pandemic sweeping our nation. There’s no better time than the present to speak words of life into students, fellow educators, parents, and the entire school community.
I love how in this verse Jesus empowers us to have a full life, or as some other versions read, an abundant life. When I think of the word abundant, I think of a fountain overflowing or the energy of a kindergarten student who can’t wait for recess. This abundant life is one that we are called to as educators, especially as Christian educators living out our faith in school.
The SavED by Grace blog is a weekly blog designed to inspire educators like you to legally and practically live out your faith in school. The blog will be written by educators, for educators. You will hear from practitioners who understand first hand the challenges of serving as an educator who follows Christ. Each week, you will be inspired, equipped, and empowered to legally and practically live out your faith in school. Stay connected with the SavED by Grace blog and be sure to share it with your friends.
5 Ways to Bring Life to Students
- Be Positive – It’s so easy to let the worries of today’s pandemic suck the energy and life out of you, but we need to be beacons of hope and inspiration during this time. Speak words of joy and hope into the lives of your students. Let them know you are there to support them and that better days are ahead. I love how one of my teachers used his guitar and singing skills to bring joy to his students by singing them a song.Get inspired by reading the CEAI Daily Devotional.
- Love Unconditionally – There is no law against love. If you take away one thing from this blog post today, remember this: “There is no law against love.” We often talk about loving kids unconditionally but that can go awry quickly when they misbehave, don’t follow directions, or act selfishly. However, we have a responsibility to be the educator who loves kids regardless of what they do. This is how Jesus loves us and we need to reciprocate that love to our students. This type of love is unique in our world today and one that kids are hungering to see in their lives.
- Get Creative – I believe God calls us to be creative in reaching our students. I especially love how this one elementary school in Frisco, Texas, decided to organize a parade of faculty and staff driving by the homes of their students to let them know how much they care when school was closed. Watch this short video clip of how this parade impacted one student. It’s educators like this who are being creative to connect, relate, and love students in creative new ways. Let’s shatter the status quo and be creative in how we encourage and inspire our students. Check out Teacher’s of Vision Magazine for examples on how educators are getting creative with supporting kids.
- Provide Support – So many kids today are going without the bare essentials to find success in school. Whether it be food on the table, school supplies, or access to the internet, children today are struggling with a shortage of resources. Be the educator who goes out of their way and drops off a bag of groceries at a student’s home, join together with other teachers to organize a clothing drive, and be a relentless advocate for your kids.
- Pray – Many people believe that prayer was taken out of our schools in 1963 but I believe as long as there are math tests, there will always be prayer in school! I say this jokingly but prayer was never taken out of our schools. Forced prayer was removed. There’s no law against silently praying throughout your day. When I was a teacher, I would go to my classroom early (before anyone arrived) and sit at the desks of kids and pray for them by name. Pray without ceasing, pray while doing hall duty, recess monitoring, or teaching your class. I’m not talking about praying aloud for others to hear but a silent prayer only the Lord knows and hears. If you need prayer, connect with CEAI at email@example.com or call (888) 798-1124.
We are excited about the SavED by Grace blog and hope you will stay connected as we release a new post each week. We would also love to hear from you, if you have an idea or a post you would like to share, send it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr. Bill Ziegler is a high school principal and has been an educator for over 26 years in our public schools. Dr. Ziegler is the author of “You Don’t Need Superpowers to Be A Kid’s Hero: Leading a Hero-Building School Culture.” Bill is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a member of the Apple Distinguished Schools Advisory Board, and a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals Board of Directors. He was also honored as the NASSP National Digital Principal Award Winner and the Pennsylvania Principal of the Year.