The following is a post from Lori C. Lewis, Director of Preschool Ministries at Ephesus Baptist Church in Winston, Georgia.
I had the opportunity to attend the funeral of my favorite elementary teacher, Mrs. Martha Carter. I listened to the precious description of her life and was swept back into the hallways of Winston Elementary. I closed my eyes and pictured her smile, her hugs, her encouragement, and her sincere concern. She believed those things were important to children. I believe she was right!
Becoming a positive influence seemed to come naturally for Mrs. Carter. She didn’t fake smiles or force encouragement. She simply cared. She took the opportunity to share Jesus’ love. By following her example, we can become positive influences, too!
- Be prepared and on time- Mrs. Carter smiled and welcomed me each morning with a hug. She was ready for her students. Welcome preschoolers and their families with a warm smile. Know the curriculum, gather the resources, and create a calm environment. The child and the family will know you take teaching seriously. This sets the stage for building relationships.
- Know the child- Mrs. Carter knew I needed affirmation but didn’t like public recognition. So, she always came to me quietly and said, “I’m so proud of you, Lori!” By talking with each preschooler, we learn who they are, what they like and dislike, how they learn best and what makes them happy. Getting on their eye level and listening to them makes preschoolers feel loved and accepted.
- Pray- Mrs. Carter prayed for me and with me in such a sweet, calm voice! It’s a privilege to pray for and influence a family for Christ. Let’s help our teachers remember to pray for preschoolers and their families. Maybe it will help you!
I’m thankful to have been influenced in a positive way by a wonderful, loving teacher. I want to be like her!
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