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Years ago, an emphasis was started encouraging people to “Thank a veteran” for our freedom and the very country we enjoy. Today, there is also another group I believe we can thank: teachers.

With education and schools in the news and focus, we are reminded that education matters, that teachers matter a great deal.

Think about it. If you ask a person about their favorite teacher growing up, you see their eyes light up with enthusiasm. If you ask a person who are some of the people who have had a large impact on their life, you almost always hear that person mention a teacher.

In God’s Kingdom, teachers have a beloved and special role. Jesus Himself was repeatedly referred to as “Rabboni,” teacher.

For most students in Oklahoma, their formal education happens through the public schools. Thankfully, there are many godly teachers and leaders within the schools trying to exert Christlike influence as much as possible. To these people laboring in the public schools, we express our deepest thanks!

For others, their formal education is happening at a private/Christian school. At these places of education, we have many godly teachers and leaders trying to share the Gospel and inculcate a Christian worldview in the next generation. To Christians laboring in private schools, we say our deepest thanks!

Still others receive their education at home. Christians around the country are increasingly choosing homeschool. Many parents are sacrificing much to be able to offer a quality education to their own children, and to these people laboring in home schools, we say our deepest thanks!

Beyond these simple but inadequate words of gratitude, there are other ways to express thanks to teachers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pray for them. Nothing is more uplifting than to know someone is praying for you. Take time today to pray for teachers you know—by name—lifting them up to the Lord.
  • Write notes of encouragement. Receiving hand-written notes is a lost art. Today you could write a hand-written note to the teachers in your life, telling them you appreciate them.
  • Send a gift. Students used to bring an apple for their teacher. Today, teachers might appreciate an Apple iTunes gift card or something useful.
  • Organize an event. Many churches hold an annual banquet of appreciation for teachers. Whether a big event or small, see how your Sunday School class could do an event for teachers (whether public, private or homeschool).
  • Offer to help. Gary Chapman’s indispensable book, The Five Love Languages, says “acts of service” is a great way to show appreciation. Think about how you, as a volunteer, can support teachers.

Oklahoma is blessed with many people working in noble professions—pastors, doctors, construction workers, military personnel, and the list goes on. Near the top of that list, we recognize teachers, whose service and work inspires us each day.

May God bless you for your work, and we say “Thank you!” today to our teachers!