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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83 Comments Add yours

  1. Judith Rainer says:

    I always felt God was in the classroom. I could offer a silent prayer anytime I wanted to and I did.

    Like

  2. esbee says:

    back in 1982 a tornado was on the ground and headed toward our school we got all the kids in the hall and guess what….we were all praying OUT LOUD! the tornado passed the schools and hit several churches and my house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tina says:

    Thank you for this! I needed this reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. P. Wilson says:

    Wow. That is truly what Jesus tried to teach us during his short stay on Earth as a man. I so hope that this view is shared by many other teachers out there struggling in the Public sector. Children imitate adult behavior, and this is the kind of leadership, and guidance they truly need and will always remember through adulthood. My prayers are with you ladies and gentlemen who have this challenging position in the classrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Terry Day says:

    God bless all teachers and the work they do! Often a thankless job but none the less the single most important job outside the home. This is our future you are molding and without you there to love the students by your selfless acts of discipline when needed and love always many of these children would ever know what love is and would not understand the importance of acceptance. God bless you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kristen says:

    So encouraging! Thank you for sharing this!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carolyn Rice says:

    What a wonderful article! God is truly being personified through the love, witness and service of our teachers! Thank you, teachers for caring! Thank you for being there!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brenda Joyner Thompson says:

    I love this. So many of our children do not know the love of God. We show them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lisa says:

    Amen! And thank you for staying and serving!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Shuryl says:

    Thank you for reminding us how to be humble and do as Jesus ask of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Robin Kramer says:

    Wonderful post. I teach at the university level, and I have found this equally as true there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Kramer says:

      Wonderful post! I teach at the university level, and I’ve found this to be equally true there.

      (My apologies for the duplicate comment…. my contact information was incorrect in the prior comment.) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Cindy Flagg says:

    I totally agree with this!!! Thank you! Cindy Flagg

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sherri Gainey says:

    Thank you so much for these encouraging words! What a wonderful opportunity we teachers have to serve Jesus by serving our students! We have a moment of silence every day after we pledge the flag. It’s the only time I close my eyes in the classroom, not because I have to for God to hear me, but as a testimony to my students that I’m trusting in God. It never fails, when I open my eyes, someone is always watching me. What an impact we can have in the lives of our students without ever praying out loud, although, I sure wish we could.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. William Douglas says:

    I believe it’s the heart of the child that God loves, because…”such is the kingdom of God.” I believe we are meant to approachThe Lord with the heart of a child! To trust and believe that what He says is True! To love every soul with the love of God from our hearts…Every soul! Young…And Old, nice or not. Every soul is Eternal! It’s All About Destination!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Deborah says:

    Amen hallelujah so true bless his Hply Name

    Like

  16. BKB says:

    Awesomely profoundly!! Thank you my teachers!!! For without you I would not be where I am today! Amen

    Like

  17. Melinda Harris says:

    Thank you for reminding me that the greatest witness that I can be is through the way I treat the students and the way I present myself daily.

    Like

  18. Carolyn Price says:

    I always felt God was in my classroom. I’m retired now, but my students knew I had faith in God. I am not ashamed of my faith and never hid it. I love this article.

    Like

  19. A few weeks ago, one of my third grade students was upset because of a DHS home visit. I said, ” I will say a prayer for you and your family.” This statement seemed to calm him down. The next day, he asked me if I had prayed for him. I said “Of course, I pray every day for each of you.”

    Like

  20. This is a beautiful tribute to real teachers as well as a very Biblical, Spirit driven testimony to the effectiveness of living out the life of Jesus in a world sadly lacking in what it needs most, loving leaders.

    Like

  21. Tanya Bouma says:

    Thank you! As a teacher who grew up in Christian schools, taught first in a public school, went back to Christian schools and now is back teaching in public schools, thank you for the reminder that God is always there in my classroom with me whether his name is able to be mentioned or not. Thank for the reminder that my actions quite often speak louder than my words ever can!

    Like

  22. jHelen Coulson says:

    You are so right Gayla.

    Like

  23. Juliette says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I hope to teach in Catholic school but if pay becomes too much of a hinderance then public school here I come. I often have wondered how I will do it without mentioning God’s name to my student’s. But thank you for showing me there is a way!

    Like

  24. Becki W. says:

    So beautifully and perfectly written. Thank you.

    Like

  25. Ken Christoffersen says:

    I’m proud of my public school teacher daughters. The article reminds me of Sam Shoemaker’s Apologia: I Stay Near the Door.

    Like

  26. Mark says:

    I just retired so I could live in South America, though I am not yet 60. I don’t understand the concept of taking Christ out of the classroom. I am not talking to administration, the school board, or state and national education agencies. I mean teachers. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees you both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. You are within your constitutional rights to share your faith in your classroom. That of course does not mean that you neglect the lesson to proselytize, but there is so much you can and should share. Second, you have a responsibility as a believer in Jesus Christ to share your testimony with those children. Day one they should know you are a believer, as well as day 180. So stop with this idea that you can’t share Christ in the classroom. Mark 8:38.

    Like

    1. Rachel Self says:

      Unfortunately, if they exercise their freedom of religion/speech in the classroom, many of them would be fired. I am torn, because I believe we should all share Christ with our words–Scripture is clear about that. But if they are all fired, then who will share Christ with the students left? Maybe their actions in school, and the relationship built at school, will create opportunities to share Christ more verbally outside of school?

      Like

    2. Eddie Barnes says:

      It is a violation of the Establishment Clause for a government authority to endorse a religion. A teacher does not have to hide the fact that they have a religion, but they are not allowed to promote it. Would you be so gung-ho about a Muslim teacher professing their faith? An atheist? You say you don’t understand this concept, and you are right, but that’s only because you obviously didn’t do the required reading on the subject.

      Like

  27. Cynthia Murphy says:

    This information that I just read is so true. I have always said God has a plan for me. He is keeping me in the classroom for a reason . I do realize we are there to provide a safe haven for our students. We need to be kind and helpful to all of the children. Most of all show them love, that’s what God does for us.

    Like

  28. Trisha says:

    So beautifully written! Thank you for writing this!

    I’ve been having very similar thoughts lately re: walking in the fruit of the spirit. Galatians 5:23 says, “Against such things there is no law!” When we let the fruit of His Spirit flow through us our students naturally receive the blessing! I recently including a section about this in an article I wrote on faith-based strategies for classroom management: https://www.classroomkeys.com/list-of-classroom-management-techniques/

    Thank you for continuing to be His hands and feet to your students! I know God is using you in a powerful way!

    Blessings,
    Trisha

    Like

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