A Back-to-School Blessing for Teachers

My friend Lauren wrote this beautiful blessing for parents in the back-to-school season. As I read it, praying it for my friends, I was inspired to write one for teachers. So today, on my first day of class, I wrote a Back-to-School Blessing for Teachers.

Really, this blessing should have been written
weeks ago, when your real first day was,
when you sat down with at least three calendars–
trying to match due dates with days,
special events with routine lessons.
(If the eclipse had been a month later,
you would have aligned a unit with the stars;
instead, you found other moments to align,
just as bright, just as divine.)

May your plans find fruit in their minds
and yours. May you be surprised
at what they do with it.

May your painstaking designs
(on bulletin boards, worksheets,
graphics–all the artistic elements
that teacher school never taught)–
may they help the students remember.

May your plans on paper have been
preparing your teacher heart too.

So now, walking into the classroom
for this first time with these faces–
these eyes–these doorways to hopes
and dreams and preconceived notions
about what school is like, what you are like–

May you be their guide even as they are yours.

May your words be kind, and their anxieties decrease.
May your eyes shine even though your policies are firm.
May you exude the confidence you might not feel.

May you approach your students with the same curiosity
you hope they use in their coursework.

May you all work together to learn more, to be more, to grow more.

And may no one (including you!) worry about grades.


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