What does your schedule look like? A teacher that wants to be all that they can be for their students, they may need to consider what their rhythms of life are like. In Genesis, God presents a pattern for us to live by through working at creating 6 days and then resting on the 7th. The act of sabbath requires intentionality and determination. But I believe that by following this patter of sabbath we can be better equipped to serve students in the classroom.
To many people live live working and working, then taking a break – vacation, and sometimes they need to rest after their vacation! This is not the pattern I’m talking about, but rather a pattern of regular work and rest. When some people think about sabbath rests, they go to one extreme or another – legalism or licentiousness. Some where in the middle I think is where teachers can flourish.
You might look to the Amish or the Orthodox Jews for example of sabbath keeping. In Lancaster County PA, there are quite a few Amish and they tend to limit the work that they do on any given Sunday. When I was in middle and high school, I worked for an Amish dairy farmer. Saturdays where spent preparing for Sunday – their sabbath day rest. I would arrange carts of feed and bales of hay in place so that minimal movements needed to be taken to feed the cattle and horses. In NYC, B&H Photo is a mainstay photography supply that is closed for business on Saturday – the Jewish sabbath. The owners of B&H even turn off their ordering order part of their online website, for the sabbath.
Dan Cathy from Chick-fil-A speaks about his father’s choice to not have the restaurant open on Sundays, he describes this as a choice that has actually improved their business opportunities. They claim their food tastes better on Monday because they are closed on Sunday, their service is better because their employees have time to be with their families on Sunday.
In the book “Emotionally Healthy Leaders” Peter Scazzero has a chapter titled “Practicing Sabbath Delight” where he describes 4 parts to practicing the Sabbath. Stop – stopping from all work, paid and unpaid. Rest – following the patter of our Creator God and taking a rest after six days of working. Delight – taking time to recognize that our God cares for us and to celebrate in His care. Contemplate – focusing in God, who He is, who we are without and with Him, giving Glory to God.
Teachers put a lot of energy into their classes and students, they, as everyone does, need to fill their spiritual and emotional cups up. It is with a full cup that teachers will be able to pour into their work as teachers and fulfill the sacred trust that we have in our Christian schools.