Retired teacher spearheads program through church to ‘adopt’ teachers

A recently retired public school teacher is spearheading a program through her church to “adopt” and mentor 13 new teachers.

Audrey Lowery, a teacher for more than 40 years, attends Irvington United Methodist Church in Irvington, Va. She was contacted by the local school system and asked to train new teachers in how to implement the classroom management system that she wrote for her classroom.

“As a newly retired teacher, I was keenly aware that I wanted to continue to work with, help, and pass on my wisdom to the new teachers entering the field,” Lowery said. “Because of this desire, I asked our church if they would be willing to take on the challenge of mentoring them for one year.”

The congregation agreed.

Lowery trains the new teachers once a month, all year long. Nearly every member of the church participates in some way to help these 13 teachers.

“For four of the training sessions, I take a bag of supplies to each teacher from our church, along with a bag of homemade cookies from the ladies of the Women’s Society,” Lowery said.

Members of the church also write encouraging notes for the teachers four times a year. The church will host a luncheon in March where members of the church will meet the teachers.

Lowery said she considers teaching a mission field.

“I was called into the mission field in my local church at the age of 12, but never did I consider the mission field to be a teacher,” she said. “After I retired, I wanted to continue to share my wisdom with new teachers. I feel called to pass on my wisdom to new teachers.”

Lowery hopes other churches will hear about their efforts and be motivated to do something similar for teachers in their community.

“Teachers have a tough job and they need to feel supported,” she said.