I'm a teacher. It's who I am. It's what I do. In fact, it's what I was BORN to do.
I love to teach. (Not that I love every class equally, or every student as much as the next.) I love watching minds thinking, growing, developing. It is one of the times when I feel most alive. I love being a teacher.
You have probably heard the "Slam" on teachers; "Those who can, DO. Those who can't, TEACH." People who say that are idiots!
Actually, based on my experience, I would tweek the above statement a bit into, "Those who CAN, teach. Those who CAN'T, Administrate."
South Koreans refer to their teachers as "Nation Builders." Across Asia, teachers are deferred to in almost all situations...and given a place at the head of the table. In Eastern Europe, when a teacher enters a classroom, the students stand at attention until told to sit. They stand at attention before they are dismissed, too. In most of the world, teachers are considered to be extremely important and vital to a society.
In the U.S., we make jokes about them.
Actually, a former student of mine sent me a YouTube clip on teaching a few days ago. It sums up how I feel about teaching rather well...and my opinion of those who put teachers down. (There is some strong language in this clip, so do beware.)
I make a difference!
"Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22:6)
Actually, everyone is a teacher in one way or the other. Just like everyone is a role model in one way or the other. It's not a choice. Everything you do has an influence on those around you...especially to your friends & family members. The only choice you have is wether you will be a good influence or a bad influence. Everyone is a teacher in some way.
For those who follow Jesus, everything we do teaches others about Jesus. If you claim his name as your Lord, then what you say and do says a lot about your relationship with him. If you are a very "Religious" person who enjoys being legalistic, then you are telling others that Jesus is a rule book. If you embrace a very narrow theological view point, and demand that others embrace the same with out discussion, debate or mercy, then you are telling others that Jesus is a mathematical formula. If you think that serving the kingdom demands allegiance to a single political party and secular doctrine to please God, then you are teaching others that Jesus is limited and as fallible as those same political parties.
However, if you follow Jesus and then give yourself away in love to others, admit your own imperfections, apologize when you hurts others (Cause you will...even by accident.), and repent when you sin and are willing to show mercy to others when they do too, well, you might be teaching others about the Jesus of the Gospels.
I want to make THAT kind of difference.
To be a good teacher requires that you are also a good student. You never stop learning and growing. You stay curious. You hunger for more knowledge.
To follow Jesus require the same thing.
It makes me realize how much more I have to learn.
I heard Billy Graham say once that his greatest regret in life is that he didn't study the Bible enough. That's something coming from a guy like him. It convicts me. I need to be a better student because I want to be a better teacher.
I want to make a difference...where ever I am.