May you know that the effort you make in classes and your community are like stones thrown into a pond that ripple and have effects you won’t see at first.
May you know that you have lived through things that can help you. May you remember what you know about love, yourself and God and may you take those lessons into every day.
May you know you are not alone. While no one can exactly know what you’re going through, there are people who will walk beside you while you live it. May you find each other.
May you be given wisdom to know what to hold and what to lay down, when to ask for help and when to trust that you can do this.
May your eyes be turned away from comparison and criticism to celebration of the skills and gifts only you can add.
May the God who created you, and whose favorite job is to make you more whole, loom large before your eyes. May you know, in word, deed and in the vulnerability of your heart, the risen and revealing Christ.
Christian Reformed Campus Minister at Mount Royal University
& Pastor at The Road Church
The energy and joy we teachers and profs get by unscripted, spontaneous interaction when we’re physically present with our students is hard to come by right now. For many of us, that energy and joy are what drew us into this line of work in the first place. So any words of encouragement I have to offer should start with the encouragement to prayerfully grieve and lament the loss we are experiencing. Our job has gotten harder and more demanding at the same time that it’s gotten less viscerally rewarding. Added to that is the recognition that our students are carrying extra burdens and that we can’t offer many kinds of the care to them that we long to. But, though we should grieve, we need not despair.
Your students know that you care, that you are dedicated to their learning and nurture. Even when they are hidden behind black boxes on Zoom, they can see that. You are developing new skills and forms of empathy that will serve you even when you’re back in the unmasked, dynamic classroom, and so are your students.
May the Lord give you perseverance and show kindness to you and may you be blessed with students who turn on their cameras to laugh at your jokes, and who linger on the zoom call after the class so that they can discuss the topic further.
Dr. Michael DeMoor
Professor of Social Philosophy, The King’s University
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