The 20-21 School Year approaches and tension runs high. We are faced with loads of questions and very few answers. Parents, students, teachers, administrators all face new uncharted waters. We are going to need grace, empathy, and resilience to help us persevere. I pray for all of us as we move forward to day one of the new school year.
The world feels crazy, upside down and inside out Lord. Normal day to day living is gone and we grieve together as we try to make a “normal for now” start to the school year. We have kids heading into stripped down classrooms to make space for social distancing, shopping for cute masks over cute folders. Some kids are trading classrooms for chromebooks. There is a group of kids facing a hybrid life and another preparing to home school for the very first time. There is not one right way to educate our kids and we are pulling out all the stops looking for ways that work.
Frustration Levels are High
Frustration levels are high on all sides of the equation. Parents are trying to figure out their role in the new plans. Teachers are trying to find new ways to teach so that everyone receives an equitable amount of instruction. Plans are changing daily. Kids are asking questions and I often just don’t have an answer. I am not the only parent without answers. Lord, help us to talk about our frustrations without placing blame. Help us to be flexible and realize plans are revising to make it work better. It may not be ideal, but the goal is to make school safe for our families.
Help Us Find Empathy
My God help us all master empathy this school year. Help us to see not only our own challenges, but put ourselves in the shoes of our neighbor. Our empathy needs to be extended to our children as much or more as to adults. Children are not exempt from challenges this school year. We have students, who NEED in person instruction to thrive, learning from home. Children who crave connection will remain apart. There will be ups and downs, please Lord help us to remember to speak and act with empathy for the feelings of those outside ourselves.
Send Heaping Helpings of Grace
Heavenly Father please send down enormous amounts of grace down from the heavens. We are doing new things, wearing multiple hats, and things are bound to get messy. Help us to give ourselves grace for the things we do not know how to do. Please help us extend grace to others. Help us let go ideas of perfection, sometimes we just need to keep the train on the tracks.
Be Present in the Now
Lord I pray for the ability to be present. In being present, we can see the resilience of our actions. I want to celebrate the wins, to see the ways we are successful in the face of challenges. I do not want to manifest disaster. We have the opportunity for good to come out of the 20-21 School Year. The wins may be small. But maybe if we are present and focus our energy on the good, the positive energy will gain momentum. Lord let us see the light shining among the darkness of our challenges.
My Final Prayer
Thank you God for being present in the good, the bad and the ugly. Help us to remember we are not alone in the chaos. You are there in the mess and will stand beside us as we grieve what we cannot control. Help us to look out for our community. On the days we are doing well, let us remember to offer help to someone who is struggling. Lord help us remember we are a community, the Body of Christ. We are always stronger when we work as one.
Let the 20-21 School Year be filled with the grace, empathy, and resilience as we navigate our way through, paving the road as we go. Amen.