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  • David OMalley

Prayer before a new term begins

Night prayer before the start of term

Lord, the adrenalin is already in full flow!

Anxieties, questions, images and timetables

Are colliding in my mind like a major accident

At the junction of this holiday and a new term.


I’m set on the starting grid taught and, tense

Waiting for the alarm that will set me off

Into another term of teaching and learning

In that whirlwind called a school.


But here tonight, I’m wide awake and wanting to rest.

Like a rabbit in the headlights of an approaching term

I am transfixed by the need to steel myself

For the change in pace and expectations of tomorrow.


As I lay awake, restless and filled with aimless anxiety

Help me to remember that other colleagues are doing the same.

Those same colleagues will arrive tomorrow

Bleary eyed and edgy for a new beginning.


It is part of the role of every teacher to manage anxiety

And to keep a focus on the enlivening and the learning of the young.

As I rest tonight Lord, help me to keep my focus

On the things that will help me manage the first day back


There will be friendly colleagues and energy to spare.

There will be stories of holidays and new patterns to begin.

Pupils will be fresh and rested and readier to work

And I will be glad to get started and use the energy I feel tonight.


So as I walk through the doors tomorrow morning Lord,

Be with me and keep me optimistic about this new beginning

Let me allow others to be different and welcome changes

To styles, timetables and my own attitudes to work.


Stay with me as each class appears on my timetable

Let me give them a clear lead for the rest of the term

May I find time for listening and stories

That will bridge the gap between holidays and term

And between your presence and all those at school.

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