As I gather pages and forms to build a teacher notebook that suits me, it occurred to me what has been missing in all my teacher’s notebooks of the past. Something I very much need to sustain myself during a school year. Scripture and Prayer.
The two pages I have put together here are the inside covers of my data/tracking/planning/conference notebook for this year. The empty space is for a picture of your family.
The first page is mostly about love, while the second page arms you with everything you might need before dealing with a difficult student or making a parent phone call.
I go to Mass on Sunday and hear the priest talk about living our faith and taking it into the workplace, then an uncomfortable funk overwhelms me. A public school is such a weird climate. I’ve had students interrupt me teaching about the role of Puritans or Quakers in US History to tell me I’m not supposed to be talking about that in school (which is obviously not true, but that shows you how sensitive some of them can be to even the mention of religion in historical context.) Meanwhile Christians and their babies are being beheaded in Iraq. This is not the time to let the awkward aura of public school beat you down. Certainly don’t do anything crazy like pass out rosaries to your students in class and get yourself fired, but remember the moment of silence(state law in Texas) is all yours, so is your lunch, and might I suggest the two seconds before you open your mouth to speak to any parent or student. Give that time back to the Lord and recharge your batteries. A school year where you ask for His help will go markedly better than one where you do not.