One letter is all it takes to make the difference in a child’s day, year, and life. As we stand at the beginning of a new school year, the same old feelings of anxiety and even inadequacy can come flooding in, but this year is different. We all know why and we don’t even have to say its name, yet it can hold the same feelings over all of us. 2020 has been a year for the books, and as we are hitting the literal books, we wanted to provide you with a quick reminder as parents, teachers, educators, and impromptu principals.

One Letter Makes a Difference

We aren’t talking about the grade letter, though. We’re talking about that one little letter between grade and grace. A world of difference can be made in the life of a child when you remember that grace is going to be what needs to win this year over any grade. The first day of school is not about making the grade, but walking in grace! 

Here are a few practical ways you can remember GRACE throughout your school day:

G = Generosity

Be generous to your students (and your teachers!). This year has been a hard one and when you research the effects of COVID on anxiety levels, you will find that few are being left spared. Adults and children alike are experiencing the effects of anxiety, and it may be even more widespread than the virus itself. Be GENEROUS with the people in your care this year. Generosity can show up in many different ways, but when you make it a priority, it will be easier to extend grace.

R = Respect

It’s all I’m askin’ for – at least, that’s what Aretha Franklin was pointing out. With so many differing opinions circulating this year, offering a little respect to the people in your life through the first few weeks of school and especially on the first day can make all of the difference. Offer respect to your classmates, your teachers, your students, your fellow educators, and you can “find out what it means to them” without the whole “sock it to me” part ?.

A = Affirmation

Offering affirmation to your students can make all of the difference. Pour love and kindness on your students through building them up with kind words and affirmation. We don’t know what the people in our circles are going home to, what battles they are facing, what fears they are experiencing, but kind words and affirmation can help wipe away the cares of this world and spread a little love.

C = Care

The definition of “care” is the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something. It can also mean “serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk.”

Take moments to care for the people in your life as you get into the new school rhythm. Take time to feel concern or interest, and to even look after and provide for their needs as much as you are able. 

E = Educate

This is what we are called to do as educators, but it goes so much further when you are dousing your education with grace. Don’t get so wrapped up in grades that you miss the chance to truly educate your charges. Education goes so much further than a grade, and when you are offering grace, education can truly sink in.

Whether you have started your first day of school already or you will be soon – may you find and give grace to those in your path. Whether you are continuing on in a public school or private school system, whether you are transferring to distance learning, home school, or a modification of these styles – may grace abound! May you find and offer generosity, respect, affirmation, care, and education to the people in your circles. If there is anything the team at Injoy, Inc. can do to make your job easier as an educator – reach out! We look forward to connecting with you and supporting you!

But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

2 Corinthians 8:7