Proverbs 22:6 Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives.
The Sunday before school starts, we do a school blessing chapel with our students. For a few weeks now, our students’ prayers have been heavily focused on school. For some students, the start of school is a “joy!” For others, it is a “concern.” Placing the new school year into God’s hands can help ease the anxiety and expand the excitement that our students feel.
While here in residential treatment, many of our students do not attend their “home” schools. It always touches my heart when our students pray for their “new” school in the same breath as their “old” school. As part of our chapel service, each student was invited to light a candle to send God’s Light to whatever school they wished to name. There were many prayers for where they will attend classes this week; but there were also prayers for their sibling’s schools, their friends’ schools, as well as prayers for Columbine and Sandy Hook. Our students never cease to amaze me with the ways they have compassion and care for others beyond themselves.
Below is a poem that was read as part of our school blessing liturgy. Blessings to all students, teachers, coaches, nurses, counselors, faculty, school officials and all who work to support education as they enter this new school year! Thanks be to God for the gift of education!
Back to school, I hear them say,
It’s August and it all starts today.
Take a deep breath as you walk through the doors,
Hearing all those feet pounding the floors.
Everyone saying hello everywhere,
Teachers are welcoming us back with care.
Finding my friends and settling in.
Finding my classroom, it’s time to begin.
Paying attention after a summer of fun,
Now there’s books to be read, homework to be done.
The sun is setting sooner, need to get more sleep.
Waking up early, time to dig in deep.
Learning takes practice, sometimes it feels rough.
Some subjects are easy, some seem more tough.
Teachers encourage us to keep giving our all,
In and out of the classroom, even walking down the hall.
Sports, theatre, art, dance, computers, and more,
There’s always something to learn behind each door.
It’s not about being better than the rest,
It’s always, always only about doing your best.
New beginnings always offer us another chance
To show up, grow up, learn and advance.
So jump right in, starting off the year new.
You don’t have to be anything except wonderful YOU!