I remember my first day as a teacher walking into my classroom after I was handed the keys by my new principal. I was filled with joy and anticipation of shaping the lives of young minds. I was excited by the memories to be made and relationships to cultivate as I started my career in education. Then as I flicked on the lights to my dark, empty classroom, I realized I had no idea what I was doing. My college courses and student teaching experiences were excellent, but I had no idea where to start. Looking back, I wished there had been a book on that empty desk that would have told me how to begin my year, what to focus on, and what to anticipate as I started on this journey. Well, the book was not around when I started teaching, but it is now. Teaching for God’s Glory: Daily Wisdom and Inspiration for New Teachers (Elm Hill, 2020) is the resource that I wish I was given when I began teaching.
Daily Practical Application for New Teachers
Teaching for God’s Glory begins as a prelude to the school year. The first few pages contain ideas on how to set up your classroom, ways to prepare for new students, and how to prioritize the massive amounts of new learning. There is also an amazing back-to-school prayer that helps to ground teachers in what is most important—the students.
This book is an excellent resource for new teachers because it contains advice, thought-provoking Bible verses, and wisdom for each day of the school year. Divided into quarters, a teacher can pick up the book and turn to any page for practical applications and inspiration for that day. For example, a teacher could pick up the book, turn to a page in early October, and find a page dedicated to helping educators prepare for upcoming parent-teacher conferences. In the third quarter, there are tips and strategies to support students who struggle with behaviors through the long winter months. Other topics include how to motivate struggling learners, allow for self-care, partner with families, and work through conflict with colleagues.
The reading for each day is perfect for busy educators, taking approximately two to three minutes and giving teachers something to immediately implement with their own students and colleagues. This book is a great resource for teachers to keep in their desks and pull out each morning before students walk into their classrooms.
Reflection and Refinement
Teaching for God’s Glory makes an intentional effort to help educators practice personal and professional reflection. This is an abridged version of this article. To read more, subscribe to the print or digital edition of Christian Educators Journal.
Teaching for God’s Glory, by Tyler Harms (Elm Hill, 2020)
Tyler Harms is currently a teacher consultant for many K-12 schools across the country. He works to support administrators as well as individual teachers with curriculum development, implementing interventions, behavior supports, and promoting self-care. Previously, Tyler taught special education for twelve years and attended Calvin University.