9 September 2023

Praying for teachers

Richard McIntosh

A photo shows a teacher at a whiteboard.

Richard McIntosh considers faith, teaching and the valuable role that Christians can play in the world of education.

Teaching is a vocation of great joy and fulfilment, but it can also bring its fair share of challenges and frustrations.

Teachers can face difficulties in many different forms, from budget constraints, changes that are dictated by local or central government, regulatory inspections and accountability pressure to the increasing needs of children and their families, the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and emotional or physical burnout.

As a head teacher, I have the immense privilege of leading a learning community of pupils, parents and staff in working together to achieve personal development, educational progress and improved life opportunities.

Having a faith has sustained me throughout my teaching profession, and all its highs and lows, by giving me strength when I have been at my weakest, hope when I have felt despair and guidance when the way has been unclear. God has always provided his help and direction, which is something that I have come to depend upon and value even more keenly since becoming a head teacher.

My faith and beliefs have always been well known in all the schools I have worked at. When I have listened to and followed God, he has given me many opportunities in which to fulfil his call to love others, to show Jesus in my words and actions, and to try and be a person of integrity.

It’s certainly not always easy or without cost, but I keep asking God for his help and keep committing my work and any impact I might have back to him.

Most recently, in my role as head teacher, this has been particularly borne out by my relationships with colleagues – in managing professional issues, helping people with personal problems and, hopefully, being a consistent and dependable leader. Some situations have been especially difficult, and I cannot imagine working through them without God to lean on.

I first look back at the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought even clearer into view for me the need for Christians to keep being involved in and influencing education. At that time, I saw with even more clarity the power of education in enriching young lives and how that was missed or diminished because of little or no access to school.

Difficulties faced by families, such as financial hardships brought on by the pandemic, presented afresh the need for people and organisations to help each other, and for a greater justice to be sought in the way our society functions. Increased mental health problems, brought in part due to the periods of lockdown, have demonstrated the need for greater awareness, understanding, empathy and care.

I believe that Christians can play a significant role in the world of education and have a great ability to positively impact their school communities.

I hope that more Christians will enter the teaching profession and other school roles and be placed in all levels of responsibility, where they will be able to have a godly influence.

I thank God for the opportunity he has given me to do this and trust that I will keep listening to and following him in my future as a teacher.

I hope that my own faith has been a source of encouragement for others and I ask you to pray for my staff and for all teachers, as further trying times lie ahead.

Written by

A photo of Richard McIntosh.

Richard McIntosh


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Resources to support praying for your local school.

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Explore a wide range of Primary and Secondary School resources