A Schoolteacher's Musings

1 Corinthians 13 for Teachers

If I have perfect classroom management, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I write a stellar lesson plan and have the cutest wall displays and have the best test scores in the country, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I know everything there is to know about reading programs and math workshops and writing techniques, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient when the child openly defies you.

Love is kind when the child wasn’t listening even though the directions were repeated three times and you were looking directly at them.

It does not envy another teacher’s quiet line in the hallway.

It does not boast about a perfectly organized project.

It is not rude even when children or their parents do things that rub you the wrong way.

It is not self-seeking when you feel like all you ever do is grade papers and write lesson plans.

It is not easily angered when one interruption after another happens to your well-thought out lesson.

It keeps no record of wrongs no matter how many times that child is challenging.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth – the truth of a child changing and growing over time, no matter how slow the progress.

It always protects a child’s fragile heart from the beatings of the world.

It always trusts that a child can change, even when it seems impossible.

It always hopes for a better and brighter day tomorrow.

It always perseveres – even when they’re grumpy, even when they refuse to work, even when they don’t know what to do, even when they’re bored, even when they’re lazy.

A teacher’s love never fails – because they are perfect?

No, because a teacher’s job is defined by “teaching” – which implies there is so much potential growth, so much change waiting to happen, so much ability waiting to be tapped.

A teacher must never give up, because that child needs at least one person in their life who lights up when they walk in the room – who rejoices with them and says, “I knew you could do it!” – who never betrays any doubt that they could progress to this point.

A teacher must remain humble, remembering that they, too, are being taught – taught by the kindest heavenly Father who has the ultimate patience, kindness, and gentleness with forgetful sinners who keep running back to lesser pursuits.

We are all rebellious children refusing to believe that our faithful Teacher in heaven knows best – and when we remember that, it’s just a little bit easier to have patience with the ones in our charge. He who has called us is faithful to complete the good work He started in us.

And we as teachers? We must be faithful to carry out the good work to which He’s called us. We won’t be perfect – but if we have love for our students, we will teach them the best lesson they will ever learn.

May He give us the grace we need every day to learn how to have that kind of love.

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