A Prayer for My Children’s Teachers at the End of the School Year

Dear God,

Hi. It’s me again.

First off, thank you for making the hot water heater start working this morning when I kicked it really hard. I promise I will call and schedule a repairperson to come and look at it tomorrow. For real this time.

It’s just that I’ve been a little busy, Lord, because it’s May down here, and . . . well, You know. It’s May. I have five kids. That pretty much sums it up.

Can I confess something, Lord? (Of course I can. But this feels like a big one, so I thought maybe I should give You a chance to brace Yourself.)

I completely forgot to fill out those little paper apples the school sent home for us to write encouraging notes on for our children’s teachers. You know, the ones intended for us to show our appreciation for all the hard work our teachers have done throughout the year? They’re still hanging on their respective clips on my Clipboard Wall of Kid Stuff I Need to Deal With. And it’s past the deadline. And I feel terrible.

I know in the grand scheme of things that failing to fill out the little paper apples isn’t that big of a deal, but it feels like it’s indicative of failure on a larger level. Because I am so, so grateful for my children’s teachers, and I want them to know that. I mean, they teach my kids . . . and that’s saying something right there.

You know, God. You’ve met my kids. You made my kids.

These teachers. They’re amazing. And don’t even get me started on the special education teachers, because they’re beyond amazing. (Remember the other day when that person asked about my experience with special education at our school? And ten minutes later—when I was still talking—she asked if I was preparing for some kind of presentation? I have much to say about our team. They’ve gotten us through a lot.)

And I really, truly meant to fill out the little paper apples. I even put them up on my Clipboard Wall of Kid Stuff! But then they never made it off the clipboard, because there were seven overdue assignments in ninth grade chemistry, (seven! how is that even possible??) and that technology project for sixth grade, and fourth grade spelling and second grade reading and the preschooler needed to bring in a rock for a painting project. And then there was the band performance and the play rehearsals and the concert and Reading Olympics and Field Day and then three of my kids decided to get Fifth’s Disease, which I didn’t even know was a thing until they all got it.

And then it was the last day to order yearbooks, and I didn’t want a repeat of last year, when I missed the deadline and my fifth grader was sobbing about not having his last elementary-school yearbook and the yearbook people just said sorry, there’s nothing we can do about it (really??) and I felt like an awful mother. (Just for the record, I also turned in the field trip form and the other field trip form and the other other field trip form, and I ordered the tickets for the school fair and the DVD of the concert and the t-shirts for Field Day, and I sent in my pictures for the end-of-year slideshow and I filled out the course selection form for next year and I even remembered to vote.)

But I missed the deadline for the little paper apples.

So instead? I want to ask You: can You please bless my children’s teachers? Today, this week, over the summer, forever? Bless the classroom teachers and the specials teachers and the aides and all the support staff. Bless the bus drivers and the custodians and everyone who works in administration. You should probably go ahead and bless the entire special education team, even the people we haven’t met (yet), while You’re working on blessings.

Because the thing is, Lord, You know how much I appreciate my children’s teachers. I appreciate them more than any little notes on paper apples could conceivably convey. I see how these amazing women and men are in there, day in and day out, giving their all—not only for my kids, but for entire classrooms. And I know (firsthand!) how some of those kids can try their patience ceaselessly and probably make them wish they’d chosen any career other than teaching. Yet they don’t give up. They greet the kids with a smile each and every morning, and calmly say things like “How could we make a different choice here?” as my kid is trying to bite their ankle or whatever.

Words fail.

So could You do something awesome for my children’s teachers, Lord? Something that knocks the socks off anything I could come up with; something to bless them in proportion to the blessing they are daily to my family. A secret longing fulfilled, the answer to a cherished prayer, or just a really, really perfect day? Don’t tell them it’s from me, obviously. Just do what You do best.

And maybe  . . .  could I have just one more week on the hot water heater?

Elrena Evans

Elrena Evans is Editor and Content Strategist for Evangelicals for Social Action, and holds an MFA in creative writing from Penn State. She is the author of a short story collection, This Crowded Night, and co-author of the essay collection Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life. Her work has also appeared in Plough, Red Letter Christians, In Touch Magazine, Princeton Theological Seminary’s The Thread, and elsewhere. She enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, and making spreadsheets. Follow her on Instagram @elrenaevans.
Elrena Evans

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