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As part of The Stapleford Centre's commitment to resourcing Christians working in education we are pleased to offer our series of Biblical reflections for busy teachers: Another Day. The reflections are quickly read, will provide food for thought and will help you reconnect with God during your busy day. All reflections can be downloaded or read online.

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Another Day - Biblical reflections for busy teachers

Another Day - Biblical reflections for busy teachers

"Thank you so much for these reflections. I love reading them when I have a quiet moment during my school day. They are so helpful for me as a teacher."

Julia Goy

In our crowded lives it is easy to be constantly on the go, never stopping, always doing everything on the run.

Teaching can have that effect on you. From early in the morning until late at night you plan, prepare, deliver, interact, solve problems, assess, mark, plan some more. Personal time and personal space can become squeezed, as energy levels drop we cut back what we do pacing ourselves to the end of term.

Another Day is a series of short, accessible Biblical reflections to support Christians working in education. Designed to be printed off or read on screen, Another Day can be read at any time and provides an opportunity for a short period of reflection during a busy day.

Another Day reflections have been created to sustain, encourage, nurture and develop you in your role as a Christian teacher.

Written by experienced educationalists we hope you will find the reflections a blessing and that you will be affirmed and encouraged as God speaks to you through them.

The Stapleford Centre is pleased to offer these reflections for free. If you know of other people who would benefit from this, please point them in the direction of this website.

34 - "Bidden or not bidden, God is present"

34 - Bidden or not bidden, God is present - Another Day

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During the 20 years I was teaching I often wondered what ‘ordinary’ people used to do during their lunch breaks. Go for a walk, read a book, visit the pub? It remained a mystery until I stopped teaching, because lunch to me was part of the non-stop rollercoaster that was a day in the life of a teacher. Even now I often jump straight up whilst still chewing my last mouthful of sandwich, ready to start work again. Read more . . .

33 - "Synergy in Classroom and School"

33 - Synergy in Classroom and School - Another Day

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“These are ... among my fellow-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.” Colossians 4:11

Paddy and Bartley were two horses behind whom my father would plough the fields. Paddy was an old and disciplined animal but Bartley was young and independent. When my father was ploughing, Bartley sometimes wanted to pull the plough in a different direction from Paddy. When this happened, my father had to work very hard to get them to work together and to pull in the same direction. Read more . . .

32 - "Tell me a Story"

32 - Tell me a Story - Another Day

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“Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.” Matthew 13:34

My little three-year-old grandson climbed on my knee with one of his favourite story books. I read a bit and then, from his memory of the many times we had done this before, he told the next bit ... and on we went together, telling the story in turns to each other. Read more . . .

31 - "Teaching is Endless Meeting"

31 - Teaching is Endless Meeting - Another Day

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“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

No, not endless meetings, although sometimes it can seem like that! Teaching is endless meeting. This a statement made by Parker Palmer in his book, The Courage to Teach, as an addition to a quotation from the Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber. The complete sentence reads as follows: Read more . . .

30 - "Give Thanks"

30 - Give Thanks - Another Day

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“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body’. Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” Matthew 26:26-28

There was an old hymn that I often heard my mother sing when I was young. The opening two lines went like this:

“Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Looking back across the years, I suspect that her singing did not always come from a glad heart but, even in some hard times, she would still sometimes sing those words. Read more . . .

29 - "Gathering around Great Things"

29 - Gathering around Great Things - Another Day

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“Your works are wonderful.” Psalms 139:14

There was a time when educationists debated whether we should be subject-centred, teacher-centred or child-centred. When the secondary level teacher would ask, “What do you teach?” the primary level teacher could respond with the put-down, “I teach children!” Read more . . .

28 - "Knowing When"

28 - Knowing When - Another Day

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“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply — and how good is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23

“There is a time for everything,” says the writer of Ecclesiastes and, a few lines later, “a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3:7

Much of our work in our schools has been traditionally concerned with knowledge of facts that can be expressed in ‘knowing that’ statements. The children and young people whom we teach come to know that King John signed the Magna Carta, that the square root of 49 is 7, and that limestone is a sedimentary rock. Read more . . .

27 - "Nobody forgets a Good Teacher"

27 - Nobody forgets a Good Teacher - Another Day

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“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Timothy 1:5

We each of us have what David Ford calls in The Shape of Living a ‘community of the heart’, made up of those people who are most important to us.* They are the people who, for better, and sometimes too, for worse, have shaped and are shaping what we are and are becoming Read more . . .

26 - "Playtime"

26 - Playtime - Another Day

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“When he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.”
Proverbs 8:29-31

This passage from Proverbs depicts Wisdom as being at God’s side when he created the world. Twice Wisdom is said to be ‘rejoicing’ but translations seem to use this word because it sounds more pious Read more . . .

25 - "Freedom"

25 - Freedom - Another Day

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“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

I am great at tying myself up in knots! Rather like the swan I saw on a natural history programme recently. Having been caught up on a thread of fisherman’s line, it thrashed around trying to free itself, progressively wrapping itself up in more and more wire until it was totally bound. Only then, exhausted, did it submit to the hands of its rescuer, who cut the threads and freed it. Read more . . .

24 - "Seeking the welfare of our Babylon"

24 - Seeking the welfare of our Babylon - Another Day

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“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7

The exiles sat down by the rivers of Babylon and wept as they remembered Zion. How could they sing the Lord’s song, they asked, while in a foreign land and far from home? (Psalm 137) If John Denver had been with them, perhaps he would have composed for them a variant on his Country Roads song – “Desert roads, take me home, to the place I belong”. Read more . . .

23 - "Peace"

23 - Peace - Another Day

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

From time to time God places in your path people, places, books that He uses to speak words of wisdom into your life. This is certainly my experience. In his book of meditations and prayers, A Silence and a Shouting, Eddie Askew reflects on the word ‘peace’ and its biblical meaning. Read more . . .

22 - "Dreading the day"

22 - Dreading the day - Another Day

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You could probably and quite quickly list the things you dread. High, if not at the top of the list, will be the next visit of Ofsted Inspectors! But suppose for a moment (let your imagination take over) the kindly but challenging Inspector was modelling himself on the Apostle Paul! It may be hard to imagine but have a go! Read more . . .

21 - "This is my Father's World"

21 - This is my Father's World - Another Day

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“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1

“This is my Father's world,
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.”

These lines are from a hymn penned by Maltbie Babcock in upstate New York over a century ago. It is said that, when going out for a walk to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Niagara Escarpment area where he worked as a church minister, he would say to his wife, “I’m going out to see my Father’s world”. Read more . . .

20 - "I'm a teacher . . . get me out of here!"

20 - I'm a teacher . . . get me out of here! - Another Day

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Ever felt that the celebrity jungle experience might be easier than what you face daily?

Most people have days when nothing seems to go right. The task you’ve been set is too challenging and the monsters you face just seem ready to engulf you. “Get me out of here!” you scream in your head, but no-one seems to hear. There is no Ant and Dec standing by to intervene. The classroom walls just close in on you until the bell goes. You breathe a sigh of relief as the last child leaves the room. Read more . . .

19 - "What's in a Name"

19 - What's in a Name - Another Day

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“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

In this short statement, Jesus is recorded as using Simon’s name no fewer than three times and what a difference that must have made to the impact of His words and to the relationship between them! Read more . . .

18 - "Getting It All Together"

18 - Getting It All Together - Another Day

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“In him (Christ) all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

If we look in our postal or email address books, we find names curiously juxtaposed by alphabetical order, people sitting side-by-side in our lists who know nothing of each other and who would have perhaps very little in common with one another if they were ever to meet in person. What holds together all these different people? It is the relatedness of each of them to us who have compiled the list in which their names appear that gives coherence to the whole. Read more . . .

17 - "The ‘Who?’ Question"

17 - The 'Who?' Question - Another Day

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“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed, ‘Everyone is looking for you!’” Mark 1:35-37

The Greek adverb euthus (‘immediately’/’at once’/’straightway’) occurs about forty times in the sixteen relatively short chapters of Mark’s Gospel. In this way and others, his fast-moving narrative presents us with a picture of Jesus as a person of action. This cameraman of the gospel writers takes us swiftly from scene to scene where Jesus is shown teaching or performing miracles, but here in these verses he also records how Jesus prayed in a solitary place Read more . . .

16 - "My church wants too much"

16 - My church wants too much - Another Day

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“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-5

It was a ‘team building’ teacher training day that all the staff were dreading. Even the head was unsure why the ‘expert’ had been booked to come and lead ‘an exciting day of self-discovery and team enrichment’, as it said in the advertising blurb. Some teachers had dreamed of a day paintballing, whilst for others, ice-breakers and team games were the stuff of nightmares that caused them to consider calling in sick! Read more . . .

15 - "Called to teach?"

15 - Called to teach? - Another Day

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“To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7

“Our primary calling as followers of Christ is by Him, to Him, and for Him. First and foremost we are called to Someone (God), not to something (such as motherhood, politics, or teaching) or to somewhere (such as the inner city or outer Mongolia).”* Thus wrote Os Guinness in his book, The Call. He goes on to distinguish this ‘calling’ from ‘callings’ to careers or places. The ‘calling’ doesn’t change but ‘callings’ may change. Read more . . .

14 - "Staffroom gossip"

14 - Staffroom gossip - Another Day

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“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13

‘People watching’ is a popular occupation. Even better is eavesdropping! There are some places where you can’t avoid overhearing interesting snippets of conversation, like on a train or ’plane or in a restaurant or café. Occasionally a celebrity or politician’s indiscretion in a public place makes big headlines in the tabloid press. No-one is likely to forget former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s recorded but private comments in his car during the last general election! Read more . . .

13 - "Minds and hearts"

13 - Minds and hearts - Another Day

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“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

It is one of the dilemmas of moral education that right thinking does not seem to lead automatically to right living. We may know what the good and right thing to do is, but we may nevertheless do what is bad and wrong. Graphic films about the effects of smoking do not lead teenagers (or some of their teachers!) to kick the habit. Read more . . .

12 - "Stability in a changing world"

12 - Stability in a changing world - Another Day

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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

We have been having a clear out and a tidy up! In the past few weeks the history of education in the UK over the past 20 years has passed across my desk. How I have loved it! How things have changed!!! Read more . . .

11 - "What Jesus didn't do at the wedding in Cana"

11 - Wedding in Cana - Another Day

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“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.” John 2:1-2

Everyone loves a good wedding. Well, almost everyone! And in Cana, Galilee the celebrations may well have lasted a week. No wonder they ran out of wine. It would have been a challenge for a family of moderate income to meet the needs of the revellers, even in a society where binge drinking was probably unknown. Read more . . .

10 - "Big pictures and small details . . ."

10 - Big pictures and small details - Another Day

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“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – LORD, who remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow . . .” Psalm 146:5-9a

Whilst travelling to a meeting a few months ago, I can genuinely say I saw something I have never seen before. Whilst certainly not as dramatic as a new star in the sky, it did make a lasting impression on me. As I drove out of a town, there was a man with a bucket and a mop . . . washing road signs. Read more . . .

09 - "Thinkers and Doers"

09 - Thinkers and Doers - Another Day

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“Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13

We often divide the world into thinkers and doers. There are those who reflect and there are those who get things done. We tend to assume there is little or no overlap between the two groups. Read more . . .

08 - "Seeing through their eyes"

08 - Seeing through their eyes - Another Day

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“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

In her seventies my mother would sometimes say that she was still a little girl on the inside. Some of my teachers I could not imagine ever being young, but others had that wonderful capacity to come alongside me and to see the world through my eyes as a child or young person. Read more . . .

07 - "Excited by an outcome"

07 - Excited by an outcome - Another Day

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“Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” 1 Chronicles 29:13

It must happen! The moment when you have reached a goal, exceeded a target or just seen the ‘light go on’ as a child ‘gets it’ for the first time. You can’t wait to tell someone, to share your success. Until you remember how a colleague who is struggling will feel and you don’t want to add to their current lack of self-belief. Read more . . .

06 - "Kindness"

06 - Kindness - Another Day

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When you stop and step aside from the pressures of life in the classroom and consider for a moment who God is and what He is like, what do you think? If I were to ask you, “What does God delight in?” what would be your answer?

I recently came upon these verses from Jeremiah Chapter 9:

“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth, for in these I delight.” Jeremiah 9:23-24

In them we see a God who delights in exercising kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth. Read more . . .

05 - "Humility and Learning"

05 - Humility and Learning - Another Day

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“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

This injunction in Philippians 2 is a summing-up of a call in the preceding verses to like-mindedness, love and oneness in spirit and purpose, in which we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, to consider others better than ourselves and to look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others. Read more . . .

04 - "Slow Food"

03 - Stillness - Another Day

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“Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.” Psalm 119:27

In an age of ‘fast food’, we prepare food quickly and we eat it quickly. The Slow Food movement started in the 1980s when an Italian journalist asked why, if there was fast food, there was not also slow food. Read more . . .

03 - "Stillness"

03 - Stillness - Another Day

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Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.Psalm 46:10

September is an exciting time of year. There is an energy that runs through schools as refreshed, relaxed staff and children return for a new year and a new start. Vision for the future is shared, new working relationships forged and friendships are made that can last a lifetime. Read more . . .

02 - "Tired"

02 - Tired - Another Day

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“When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” Exodus 17:12

Some mornings you wake up and one of your arms or hands feels dead. Whatever else you do, it is vital you don't pick up the cup of tea you wish someone had brought you! It feels as though you hardly slept. The school term seems so long. The challenges you face seem endless. If only you didn’t feel so battle weary. Read more . . .

01 - "Welcome"

01 - Welcome - Another Day

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“Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:5

The Master Teacher doesn’t just talk in abstract terms about children; He calls a little child and has him stand among them as He teaches them. Welcome a little child like this ‘in my name’, He says, and you welcome me, yes me! Read more . . .