“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
To me, there is no nobler profession than that of a teacher. At the same time, it is the least respected, and the most under appreciated job on this planet. Without another generation, the world falls. Without the children who will rise up to the challenges of tomorrow, there is no tomorrow.
Yet, the only question is, how is our education system the least honored system in America? Over the past few years we have dumped funds, yes, but what does money do if its purpose is not carried out by people who actually care?
The very people writing the curriculum for public schools do not have degrees in teaching, they nearly lobby for education on occasion. Is this all we care to give our future generations? This same problem has caused this philosophy not only in governments but in many corporations. That is, we have come to believe that if they have enough money, than we can fix all of our problems.
Business owners all over the world know that the best thing they can do for a company is not simply pilfer more capitol, but to find employees and partners who legitimately care about what the company does. Not only will this help solve future problems, it will also stem the plight of future business needs. Note that last bit, future needs. Are we only concerned with the present? Do we only care about getting the correct scores on tests so that we can keep a decent paycheck? Or will we stand up and begin teaching for a reason; perhaps because we actually care about the student’s and their futures instead of the numbers at the top of homework assignments.
Take it from someone who has nearly everything this world seems to value: fame, fortune, respect, and wealth. Jim Carrey, a well established actor and comedian, said this about his life:
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
Jim Carrey isn’t the only one either. We seem to think that if we have something, money, fame, respect, or anything else, that it will solve all the problems in our lives; or at least make them better.
The same goes for our education system. Dumping money into it will not help. In fact, many of the things people lobby for in our legislative branch will make no difference if we do not care. As a Christian, this makes perfect sense. 1 Corinthians 13, the famous love chapter, tells us this in the opening three verses:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
It is time for this generation to return to the greatest commandments, to love God, and to love others. For without love, money has no power, it is just scraps of paper. Meaningless, a chasing after the wind, as Solomon would say. Without love, our teachers will never prepare students to fight the battles of this world. Without love, the best legislation will fail and no one will know why.
Without love, young people everywhere will feel loneliness and fall into depression and anxiety. But what they need is not our broken, human love, but God’s love. We need a world that recognizes that common core has not worked. That our students are dropping out of school at the highest rates in history. We should realize that something is wrong. Yet we keep doing the same things over and over. A careful reminder of what we have been doing reminds me of a quote I learned doing my years debating:
Clearly our students need more from their teachers than a dump of superfluous facts that they will forget in a week or so. My favorite proverb catches the idea that love, real love, must be not only a way of teaching, but a way of living.
We need teachers who are devoted. Who are willing to go the extra mile. These teachers do not only appear in classrooms. They are pastors, friends, mentors, and that random person you see on the sidewalk who takes the time to talk to you. They are parents, leaders, helpers, Jesus-followers. So let’s not continue in this insanity. Let us start being teachers who care. Remember, to follow the best example, we continuously attempt to become more like Christ. What did he do? Teach. His disciples referred to him as ‘teacher’ or Rabbi, who is someone who teaches the word.
I remember talking to a small group leader from my church during my senior year of high school. What she said shocked me. She led the group of 7th and 8th grade girls.
She told me how shocked and worried she was over her group, and every other group of young people she had mentored. Telling me how, when she was young, the problems that she and her friends dealt with, although they seemed impossible at the time, were in all honesty small problems. She felt lonely, left out, had trouble with her grades, or got into a fight over who got to sit where. I remember how her tone of voice sounded discouraged and upset as she told me the gradual change she saw in this new young generation. “The things they are dealing with are so beyond what we [older generations] think they struggle with. These girls are dealing with broken homes, domestic violence, friends who committed suicide, drugs, as well as depression and anxiety. When they first told me they struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, I assumed that they were overreacting based on my experiences from their age. Don’t ever tell someone that their problems don’t matter because someone else has it worse. The truth is, pain is pain.”
I couldn’t have put it better. These people need us, kids and adults alike. So let us rise again to love others, to give show them the love of Christ.
Be blessed today.