I moved classrooms this year, and although I am still sharing a room, the other teacher only comes in third and fourth blocks, so I actually have the room to myself when I get there in the morning. I’ve tried to make my desk area look homey and personal, and I have a french memo board and a mini bulletin board up that have quotes, pics, etc. I decided to take a small icon in this year and try to have a quiet prayer/meditation time briefly each morning before the students come in. I think this will help me get centered and peacefully ready for the day. I posted the “Prayer Before Commencing Any Task” on my bulletin board:
“Almighty God, our Help and Refuge, the Fountain of wisdom and Tower of strength, who knowest that I can do nothing without thy guidance and help; assist me, I pray thee, and direct me to divine wisdom and power, that I may accomplish this task, and whatever I may undertake to do, faithfully and diligently, according to thy will, so that it may be profitable to myself and others, and to the glory of they Holy Name.”
I also found a prayer for students in an Orthodox homeschooling curriculum that I have:
“O God, our heavenly Father, who lovest mankind, and art merciful and compassionate, have mercy upon these, Thy servants (name each child) for whom we humbly pray Thee, and comment them to Thy gracious care and protection. Be Thou, O God, their guide and guardian in all their endeavors, lead them in the path of Thy truth, and draw them nearer to Thee, that they may lead a godly and righteous life in Thy love and fear; doing Thy will in all things. Give them grace that they may be temperate, industrious, diligent, devout and charitable. Defend them against the assaults of the enemy, and grant them wisdom and strength to resist all temptation and corruption of this life; and direct them in the way of salvation, through the merits of Thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and the intercessions of His Holy Mother and thy blessed saints.”
I was about halfway through this prayer yesterday morning when I realized it was the Prayer of Parents for their Children. It sort of hit me. This is the prayer I pray for my own children. Wow. I wonder if any of my students’ have anyone who prays for them, or talks to them about their day, or cares about what happens to them. So I’m gonna keep saying this prayer for my students. Maybe it will help them. Maybe it will change me.
The next thing that happened yesterday was that during my planning time, I checked my yahoo mail and quickly glanced over my readings/saints for the day email from the Greek website, and I found this:
The Reading is from Matthew 18:1-11
At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea . . .
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. For the Son of man came to save the lost.”
And I thought both of my students and of my own children. Although my students are teens and not “little children”, I still need to love and cherish them. And as for my own two little ones, I fail on a daily basis to be the mother I need to be. Especially when I am stressed, I snap and yell when I shouldn’t. This was just a reminder to be loving toward my little ones even when I’m stressed and even when I have to discipline them. Saint Nonna, a faithful wife, mother, and woman of prayer who raised three saints, pray for me!