A few weeks ago my pastor gave us a challenge for the new year. He told us if we take just 5 minutes per day to really dig into 1st Corinthians 13, our lives would be changed. Well, after just a few weeks, I’m here to say that it has. I’m realizing I need more of God’s love and a whole lot less of everything else in my life.
I’ve always loved this version of 1st Corinthians 13 for Teachers by Grace4Teachers (I have it printed and hanging in my office). As I really started digging into this passage, I decided a good exercise for me would be to apply to myself, or specifically to educators who work with special needs students.
1st Corinthians 13 for SLPs (or Intervention Specialists)
If I speak with eloquence at IEP meetings and impress teachers and administrators alike with my pull-out and whole-class lessons, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I possess knowledge of best practice, can cite supporting research for all of my methods, and effectively take consistent and thorough data each and every session, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all of my money to creating a beautiful learning space, purchase my own supplies and devote all of my free time to planning impressive lessons but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is Patient
It does not get annoyed when a student is reminded to use their carryover skills over. And over. Or when a schedule needs to be rearranged for the one millionth time.
Love is Kind
It sees each student as a child of God and demonstrates kindness to them by greeting them daily, getting to know them, and by placing more importance on their wellbeing than by how well they perform on an assessment.
It does not envy, it does not boast
It does not get jealous of another educator’s success or beautiful lesson plans. It does not try to show up other staff members.
It is not proud, it does not dishonor others
In the break room, it does not exult itself or gossip about other staff or students. Rather, it looks for opportunities to build others up.
It is not self-seeking
It does not get upset when asked to perform special duties nor does it “toot its own horn” during meetings. Instead, it looks to serve others and praise members on the team for any success that a student may have.
It is not easily angered
It seeks to understand the students on its caseload, which includes ones with especially difficult behaviors (biting and hitting, anyone?) and create solutions for them. It never threatens, embarrasses, yells, or treats students unfairly, even when they fail their behavior plans again. And again.
It keeps no record of wrongs
It begins each day fresh and does not punish a student for past mistakes. Even with detailed assessment data and opinions, it looks at each incoming student with new eyes and sees their possibilities.
It always protects
It does not tolerate meanness of any kind. It always stands up for the underdog and is on watch to protect its students with special needs.
It looks for the best in students and seeks to give grace whenever possible.
Even with discouraging outside factors such as changes to educational policies, little parental involvement, and minimal student effort, it chooses hope and encouragement.
It never gives up on its students, even with those showing minimal progress on paper, because it knows God never gives up on us.
Love never fails.
If you’re anything like me, you probably fail these on a daily basis. As Rachel states, ” There is no way that you or I can daily show that kind of love to our students without God’s grace! We need God to work in our hearts and give us that spirit of love.” I believe He will when we ask Him! So let’s begin 2018 with a spirit seeking out His love for our students. I guarantee, it will change lives.
To download a printable version of 1st Corinthians 13 for SLPs (and Intervention Specialists), click HERE