Dear United Methodist Clergy:
We hope you will celebrate teachers in your congregations during the week of May 8 to 12, 2017 as we join the National Parent Teacher Association for Teacher Appreciation Week. The theme this year is “Teachers Deliver” because they deliver inspiration, motivation, and better futures for all our children.
You may have many teachers in your congregation as well as others who actively support our children in their education. Remember our administrators, assistants, bus drivers and child nutrition workers, custodians, counselors, crossing guards and the many others who support all children. Schools need our support as they close out their school years just as we support them on ‘Back to School’ Sundays.
Here are some suggestions for HOW you may want to celebrate teachers:
- Mention Teacher Appreciation Week in your newsletter, bulletin or outgoing emails.
- Sponsor an End of year school supply drive
- Ask everyone who works with children to stand to be recognized during a worship service
- Add a prayer or responsive reading for teachers to your worship service
- Send an email or note to your child’s/grandchild’s teacher showing your appreciation
- Ask children in Sunday School classes to make cards for their teachers
- Write an email or letter to your local or state representative expressing your support for strong public education and its importance for all children
- Focus the children’s sermon on the importance of teachers
Sample prayer from Christian Crier at pantheos.com:
Thank You for all those who teach our children, grandchildren and all those in the area in which we live. We need these men and women because they will help to lay a foundation that the children’s lives will rest upon. I know as a parent how hard it is to discipline, nurture, and teach children but with so many other children in the classroom, how this must be a very difficult job to do at times, but I believe that teachers have a special calling in their vocation. They had great enough of a desire to be a teacher that they were willing to endure four or more years of college. This shows that their heart’s desire must have been to teach, so bless them in their work and grant them the ability to multitask that their job demands, and in the Holy, Righteous Name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
The Annual Conferences of both the North Carolina And Western North Carolina Conferences in 2016 approved committees to advocate jointly to develop ways that the value of public education can be promoted and communicated through our churches, districts, and Conferences to the leaders of North Carolina’s government. MAPS (Methodist Advocates for Public Schools) Committee is working on ways to support students and honor teachers for the crucial work they do.
Thank you for joining us in this effort during Teacher Appreciation Week 2017.
Pastor Jay Bissett, Western Carolina Conference, Ebenezer UMC
Brian Heymans, Chair, Board of Church and Society, NCC
MAPS Committee Co-chairs
Below are portions of the Annual Conferences Resolution for your further information. You can also visit http://nccc4c.org/ or http://congregations4children.org/ and look under Advocacy for more Task Force findings and to get involved in Congregations 4 Children United Methodist activities :
“Therefore, we call upon local churches in the North Carolina Annual Conference and the Western North Carolina Annual Conference to support public education by:
- Honoring teachers for the crucial work they do with young people; and advocating for appropriate salaries commensurate with their vital role in society;
- Encouraging young people of our congregations to enter the teaching profession;
- Insisting that all curricula present the best textbooks and teaching at all levels, acknowledging that we encourage children to read, to imagine, and to understand the many wonders of God’s creation;
- Advocating for the inclusion of differently-abled students in our classrooms, and ensuring that teachers have the special training needed to meet these children’s needs;
- Advocating at the state and local level for adequate public school funding and equitable distribution of state funds; and supporting efforts to end unjust educational disparities between rich and poor communities;
- Advocating for universal, early, and quality preschool education for all children; and
- Advocating for public education as a basic human right; and not relying solely on school fund-raising and state alternative revenues, such as gambling, for financial support.