Teachers Rock!

Back To School


Social media has been saturated with back-to-school pictures in the last two weeks. Don’t get me wrong- it was awesome to see so many familiar faces – from elementary-aged children of our friends all the way up to former students in ministry moving into dorms. Time really flies- but you parents know that better than anyone! We are thankful we get to share a peek at what is going on with all of you. Thanks for posting pictures of yourselves and your kids! Facebook and Instagram make us feel not so far away from friends and family.

Every August, as students are going back to school, I can’t help but think of my mom. She was an extraordinary and loving, elementary school teacher for 37 years in the Memphis City Schools. Year after year, I would help Mom set up her classroom. Of course, that meant “going back to school” before other kids did. There’s nothing like hanging out with other TKs (Teachers’ Kids) and having the run of the almost empty school.

Here is my sweet mom when I graduated from seminary.
Here is my sweet mom when I graduated from seminary.

Being a TK had its privileges- I was THAT kid- the Teacher’s PET.  Other kids probably didn’t like it, but it was true. Teachers usually loved me. I couldn’t help it.  Because I had an automatic “in” with the staff and knew the layout of the school so well, teachers would send me to run errands during class time.

I enjoyed helping other teachers who were friends of my mom with whatever I could. Maybe I enjoyed it too much. While in kindergarten, I remember developing a crush on my teacher. Her name was Mrs. Huffstutter. She was nice and pretty, and I was smitten. Then I had another crush on Mrs. McDonald, my fourth grade teacher. She, too, was beautiful and nice and fun.

By middle school, the crushes ceased. Because of my respect and admiration for the field of education, I followed in my mom’s footsteps by earning an undergrad degree in elementary education. Yes, that included taking Music for Children, learning to square dance, Art for Children, and student teaching. I know some of those mad skills helped me be a better student pastor.



In case you needed a laugh, here are some of my “throwback” pics from my school days.

All that to say….I think TEACHERS ROCK!

That is why I am so excited that Vertical Church has partnered with Merriam Park Elementary School here in Kansas. We have the opportunity to encourage the teachers and staff through service and gifts. COMMUNITY is the theme here. Our goal is to support the people who are on the front lines with children and families in Merriam.

Any coffee lovers out there? You will appreciate this! On the teachers’ first day back to school, we provided them with their very own barista and espresso bar. To say it was a hit is an understatement. One teacher even hurried to her room, wrote a thank you note, and brought it back to me before I left! There were some caffeinated, appreciative teachers who were ready to work.

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The following day, VC provided a Chick-Fiil-A breakfast to kick off the morning. Blake was able to say a few words of encouragement and echo the value of community with the teachers and staff. Eat Mor Chik’n!

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While the school hosted a “Sneak Peek” night so students could meet their teachers and find their new classrooms, Vertical Church had the sticky privilege of serving ice cream in the cafeteria to parents and students.

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Nine tubs of vanilla ice cream + friendly scoopers = happy people!

Then, on the actual first day of classes with students, we passed out almost 500 popsicles to students before early dismissal. The students loved the pops! Lots of blue lips headed back inside after enjoying the cold treats.

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I have always loved teachers! My mom was my first teacher, and she was awesome. We love the teachers here in Merriam.  Most of us have a favorite or two. So, this week I hope you will take the time to thank a teacher, pray for teachers, and encourage them when you can. A Starbucks gift card wouldn’t hurt either!

I’m just glad Liam was not one of my professors!


Have a great week!





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