THE ELEPHANT IN THE CLASSROOM
June 02, 2021
Prayer: Lord, thank you for helping us focus on the bites on our plate and not the elephants in our classes and offices. Amen.
Scripture: Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. Exodus 23:30
Sylvia is a reading facilitator at a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon, primarily Hispanic inner city school. Her days are filled with co-teaching in several primary grades and serving dyslexic and struggling readers individually and in small groups at all grade levels (K-5) throughout the day. She serves around 70 to 90 different children each week with a schedule that changes weekly as students are added and removed from her roster and amidst the many required tests that are taken at all the different grade levels at different times. She also coaches and mentors new or struggling reading teachers.
At a recent faculty meeting the teachers at Sylvia’s school were asked to think of one word which summarized their focus or goal for the remainder of the school year. The Lord gave Sylvia the word, “elephant” along with the parable which asks, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is, “One bite at a time.” Sylvia knows she is not to focus on the many foreboding and forbidding tasks her job entails. She is instead to focus in the present upon God’s Word and the next single step she is to take each day – each individual bite of the professional buffet of responsibilities her job requires.
The ballast the Lord put in Sylvia’s professional boat to keep her upright and balanced is Exodus 23:30. God was giving the Israelites instructions before entering the Promised Land, “Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.” This scripture daily reminds Sylvia that as she works with each child and each teacher “little by little” she is helping them reach their Promised Land, which is academic excellence in an environment of shared love and respect.
Do you get to work each day and see an elephant in your classroom [office] or do you see the bite(s) you are to consume that day? Take one bite at a time, little by little, and you will get to your Promised Land and lead others there as well.
Reflection: Am I in a professional maelstrom? How am I handling it? What does God want me to use to stay afloat?
Getting Real: Select a life [profession] preserving Bible verse to cling to in your maelstrom. Keep it visible somewhere in your classroom. Pray it daily for yourself and pray it when the professional sea and storms are raging around you. Remember Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the captain of your ship, not you.
Copyright Don Clark. Email DClark@ceai.org