We teachers sometimes say that we’d get so much done—if we didn’t have students.
Of course, we’re joking.
In my early years of teaching (can you believe thirty years ago?!), I so wanted to be an A+ teacher and thought the way to ensure my goal was through paperwork. So I gave much time to benchmarks and reports, to redoing worksheets, quizzes, and tests until I deemed them good.
And I chafed when my class was slow to learn or made messes in my perfectly organized classroom or wanted to discuss life more than they wanted to answer my reading recall questions.
Somehow in the midst of all my efforts, I developed tunnel vision.
I failed to see my students—the questions in their eyes, the hopeful smiles on their faces, the needs in their hearts.
My vision was filled with benchmarks and bell curves, with the small neat squares in my gradebook and with the large empty rectangles in my lesson planner.
Fortunately, back then we took time to attend a yearly teaching conference held by Association of Christian Schools International. It was always a highlight of our year. The seminars informed us, challenged us, and gave us more ideas than we could manage to implement in a lifetime.
One professor was decidedly different from all the rest. He had us laughing in moments by asking all kinds of crazy hard Bible questions, which ended up having clever answers.
Then he said, “Who can—right now—tell me the name of every child in your classroom?”
I pictured that list of names I’d painstakingly inked into my gradebook and scribbled furiously, certain of victory—and maybe even a prize.
Then after far too short a time, the professor said. “Stop! Okay, folks, are you ready? Here it is . . .
The name of every child in your classroom is Jesus Christ.
Because the Lord said, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine—even the least of them—you did it unto Me.’”
Those words pierced my heart.
I don’t know why I had never thought of teaching in those terms before, but I vowed to never make that mistake again
I bowed my head and prayed that God would change my hard heart.
And I began my quest to actually see my students for who they are—children of the Great King,
Precious souls it’s my privilege to know and cherish,
My fellow travelers as we journey towards Heaven—
And to allow God to guide me in meeting their needs through the work we do together . . .
Even if that means He changes my lesson to fit His eternal plan.
Father Jude of Saint Gregory’s Priory put it another way. When he disdained kitchen duty over the other higher, more orderly duties of prayer and Bible study, he realized he needed God’s help “to invest ordinary, everyday actions with spiritual significance.”
If you can’t relate to my teacher story, the words Father Jude prayed as he served might hit the mark for you . . .
“The body that I am helping to keep alive is destined for a glorious resurrection. The person to whom I am carrying a plate of food is someone whom it is an honor to serve. For he has been invited to eat and drink at the table of the King.”
Let us seek to ascribe Jesus’ Name to all those we serve—Amen?
Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!
***Photo Backstory: I made the 1st graphic from an iPhone pic, which shows a bunch of my high school students and a few fellow teachers at a retreat we attended in Pennsylvania last fall. Isn’t the camp beautiful? Of course, I added the Scripture with PicMonkey.
I made the 2nd graphic with a fun, new site called Spoken.ly. Click on the link to check it out!
Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. (Follow this link for more Free Graphics.)
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