When God is in the Classroom

I’ve heard it said in various ways, “They have taken God out of the classroom.” I’ve even been asked, “How can you work in a public school when you can’t share your faith with the kids?” I’ve watched teachers walk away from public education with great frustration because of politics, evaluation systems, state standards, pay, and lack of support.

If I am being honest, there are days in which I ask, “Why am I still here?”

Yet, every time I ask myself that question, I hear a soft whisper in my soul… “Because I am here.”

God is in your classroom.

From the depths of my soul, I believe that God has never, can never, and will never be removed from the classroom–even a public school classroom.  One, He is bigger than that. Besides the fact that He is omnipresent , He is the “indwelling spirit” that fills you completely.  If you are in the classroom, He is there too. And that is why we stay when it is ridiculously tough. The kids that God brings into our classrooms need us– they need Him.

You are His Hands and Feet

The greatest among you will be your servant.” Matthew 23:11

Don’t think of your inability to freely talk about Jesus as a hindrance; rather, think of it as an opportunity to let every action be seasoned with the love and service of Christ. Jesus was the greatest servant of all time. Let the image of Jesus kneeling down to wash his disciples feet fill your mind for a second.  Creator God washed creations’ feet. Dirty, dusty, yucky feet. God humbled himself and served others throughout His entire time on the earth: feeding, healing, encouraging, and raising the dead. As a follower of Christ, He asks us to serve one another humbly in love–to be his hands and feet in the world.

How many shoes have you tied? How many messes have you bent down to help clean? How many kids have you leaned down to hug? How many tears have you wiped away? How many words of encouragement have you spoken? How many hours of your free time have you given up for your kids? Every day, you give all you have for the kids–all for their greater good. When you humble yourself and serve your children–you are being the hands of feet of Jesus in the classroom. And teacher, you do it ALL the time every day.

When you serve and love your students–God is in your classroom.

He is in the actions of your hands. He is in the actions of your feet. You are His hands and feet in the classroom.

That is why you stay.

Jesus Really Loves Children

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

We may not always think highly of the children in our classroom, but Jesus certainly does. He loves them. Deeply. And God help us to think of them highly too. Because when we think highly of them, loving them becomes second nature. When we love our students, we are loving them with the love of God.

Love looks different in every moment, but it is love all the same. Love looks like you responding in patience. Love looks like you expressing  joy that your students showed up to school. Love looks like treating the kids with kindness when they deserve your wrath. Love looks like discipline all because you have high expectations for your kids–you believe in them. What?! What would your classroom look like without love!? Your students need your love–they need the One through which your love comes.

When you love your kids, God is in your classroom.

That is why you stay.

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May you know that you are not alone; you are partnered with God. Your loving actions, however small they might seem to you, make a difference in the lives of children. The things you do for your students that are as natural and thoughtless as breathing, move the heart of God. Loving and serving people is second nature to you–you are a teacher. Daily, you lay down your life for your students. You are needed. You carry the presence of God. Every day, you humble yourself. You kneel down and serve your students. Your servant-heart does not go unnoticed by the greatest servant of all. He is proud of you. He is with you. He is in your classroom. 

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223 Comments Add yours

  1. Brilliant blog, thanks!

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    1. mrsackley says:

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Like

  2. Faye says:

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    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Thank you so much!

      Like

  3. Sabrina says:

    Amen!! I agree wholeheartedly! I couldn’t have made it 21 years teaching without him dwelling in my classroom.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Keep it up!!! I can’t imagine how many lives you have touched throughout the past 21 years.

      Like

  4. Margaret says:

    Thank you for this beautiful writing piece! It was encouraging to me! I love my students with the love of God, and since I have no kids of my own yet, I treat them like they are MY OWN. I keep my Bible and a Bible Devo on my desk in my classroom, if students ask to read them, them. If they ask, I MAY let them by law. I’ve had multiple students ask to read them and ask me to pray for them, all by my actions. In the morning during “A Moment of Silence,” I pray for my kids and my day and read my Bible Devo. The kids know what’s up! Sometimes, they don’t get that at home and they need it at school. God bless you and every one reading this in the coming school year! Let’s go out and be the salt and light of Jesus in our classrooms!

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Thank you for sharing! I am truly encouraged by all that you have told me. Keep up the good work in the name of Jesus! May He continue to bless you with His presence and peace.

      Like

  5. Leticia says:

    God is always in my classroom, I have to al ways remember I work for him. He’s my Boss.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Agreed! Keep it up.

      Like

  6. Theresa Schroeder says:

    I am a kindergarten teacher in a public school. I pray over each desk representing families from all backgrounds. I love on these kids and consider it a ministry. If they bring up the topic of God or church…I roll with it and discuss it like I would anything else. They do when we discuss Martin Luther King Jr and Pilgrims and holidays etc… They know I go to church…many of them attend the same one and they know I love them. As long as I work at my school…God will be there because He lives in me and I can pray without opening my mouth!

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Thank you for sharing with me. I have experienced much of the same. God is good.

      Like

  7. This is wonderful. I see my classroom as my mission field. My job is to love every student that walks in my door and to let them know how much I care. I have the opportunity to be a positive adult role model every single day. Yes, I make mistakes but those are opportunities to show that it is okay to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Through my classroom, I build relationships with students and families. God opens the doors from there.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Amen! I have had much of the same experience. Keep it up. You are changing lives for the better and for His glory.

      Like

  8. Julie says:

    Truth. And I need the love of God that my students express through their words and actions, too.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Agreed! Thank you for sharing with me.

      Like

  9. Linda Moody says:

    What an inspiration !! As a retired teacher, I agree with this completely! This is your ministry! Let the Light & Love of Jesus shine through you.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I agree with you whole-heartedly– teaching is a ministry.

      Like

  10. Anne knowlyon says:

    Priceless

    Like

  11. Wanda says:

    I am truly thankful for the many lives that GOD has allowed me to touch. Teaching can be “ridiculously touch” but with the love of GOD, the rewards are priceless. I am a follower of Christ and as his servant, he has blessed me to surpass 30 years in the classroom. With every new year and every new day, I wake up asking GOD for health and strength to continue to serve. Thank you for this post!

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      I could not agree more! You are so right and blessed to be used by a God to touch the lives of so many. Thank you for posting. I am inspired by you.

      Like

  12. Kelle Patterson says:

    Thanks Be To God 🙏

    Like

  13. treasan says:

    Wow, this is beautiful! I’ll be working on my teaching certificate soon and this has been a real worry of mine – In NYC God is taken out of some classrooms completely, and some teachers are even open with their disdain towards Christianity. I love how the article explains that God can still be in the classroom because his children are there. Thanks for the share!

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Absolutely! I am inspired and moved by your faithfulness to Jesus. May he continue to bless you for your faithfulness in the name of Jesus.

      Like

  14. Joy says:

    Without God, we would have nothing and neither would our kids. We have to press on to the high calling that is in Christ Jesus so they will have the example of what it means to serve! Thank you!

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Thank you! You are absolutely right. I feel the same way.

      Like

  15. Jonathan says:

    Children look up to teachers as role models. You should be ashamed of yourself if you’re a teacher that’s using your position of authority to force your religion and whatever made up God you believe in on the children in a public classroom. I bet you hypocrites wouldn’t feel so good about it if a Muslim teacher was preaching their nonsense to those same students. You don’t get paid with secular tax dollars to preach. Teach or move along so our children can learn about things that actually exist!!

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Hey Jonathan! I agree, teachers who force their religion on others is quite unacceptable. Jesus Himself never forced Himself upon others and greatly values our free will. Loving and serving children in the name of Jesus though actions instead of preaching is another story in my opinion. I respect you if you do not agree, but please understand that loving and serving students because one believes that this is their calling from God is different than using one’s authority to push religion because it is a non-verbal demonstration of Christ’s sacrificial love. I hope you have a fantastic day.

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  16. Carmen says:

    Sometimes I think the same” why amI still working here” let me tell you because this is the place God wants me to be. I work with someone that needs me and until he is able to stand alone I will be with him. God loves me and wants me there for him.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Praise God for you!!

      Like

  17. I needed this! I’ve been struggling with going back into the classroom this year. I am currently working on finishing my Master’s in Counseling, but even though all I have left is my internship, no one wants to hire me without my degree…and I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. Through the last year I’ve been praying that God’s will be done and that He would make it clear to me where He wants me to be in order for His plan to come to fruition. I have learned that having faith in this, and listening to Him, won’t always yield an answer I like. All that said, I am printing this and putting it in my desk in my room. Thank you for writing words that speak to my soul and will undoubtedly get me through this next year. God bless.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. God is good, and He has incredible plans!! It will be amazing to look back after this year is over and see all the reasons why God kept you in the classroom for one more year. May the Lord continue to bless you.

      Like

  18. The Allen's says:

    May God be with each Teacher in their classroom . May Christian students help other students with the decisions they make. God Bless Each One On a Daily Basis.

    Like

  19. nanwalter says:

    I teach ESL, and last year 66 of my 70 students were Muslim. This is a great responsibility. While I do not initiate conversations about my personal beliefs, I do feel free to honestly answer questions they ask. And they ask a lot of questions.

    Thank you for sharing this. There are legions of us teaching in public schools, especially in urban areas. We need all the encouragement we can get.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      What an amazing opportunity to love some amazing students. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

      Like

  20. zamar1255 says:

    Well said! I taught school for 20 years and while I could not share my faith verbally, I could certainly live it. I prayed over my students each year before school began. I walked through the rows of desks and placed my hand on each one asking God’s blessing on whoever would sit there. Better to see a sermon than to hear one.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Amazing!!! Thank you for your service.

      Like

  21. ArLisia Kennon-Miles says:

    Thank you for helping me to remember that God is always there. Thank you for the encouragement as I began a new school year. May God Bless You!

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      May the Lord bless your school year!

      Like

  22. Shellie watkins says:

    I love this, and it is so true! God called me to the public school. Even if the Christian schools paid more ( which they dont) I wouldn’t go teach there unless God called me there:) The wisdom of the Holy Spirit also has many times given me wisdom and discernment when teaching and dealing with my students! This is a great blog!

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I feel the same way. I LOVE teaching in a public school because God has called me to the public school system. Thank you for sharing!

      Like

  23. Mr. Darcy says:

    I decided to retire early and serve as a full time volunteer in a public elementary school. I’m frequently asked why I do it. Your article sums it up nicely. The school as my mission field. My primary motivation is to be an Ambassador for Jesus Christ in the school by loving, serving, being a role model and demonstrating the Galatians 5:22 “fruits” of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    Like

    1. mrsackley says:

      Beautiful! Thank you so much for posting.

      Like

  24. Neil Taylor says:

    What you cannot do is proselytize your faith and that is right and just. You can share your faith whenever you want by saying “I believe…” or similar but when you are a school teacher you are a government agent and must be absolutely neutral, when doing your job, towards every faith position. It’s really easy if you just acknowledge that other people have different faiths and they might be the ones who are right.

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    1. mrsackley says:

      Neil, thank you for sharing.

      Like

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