The Greatest Teacher

chalkboardThis morning as I was driving my children to school, I was feeling blessed as I was reflecting on some of the amazing teachers they’ve had over the years.  Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a few good teachers in my lifetime. But I’m also sorry to say that I’ve also had my share of bad teachers as well. I believe that being called a “teacher” is both an honor and a privilege.

I then began thinking about what the difference is between the two and what makes a “GREAT” teacher from just an average teacher or a poor teacher. I could definitely come up with a bunch of points of what a bad teacher looks like.  But instead I’ve decided to list ten points from which I have witnessed throughout my few (wink, wink)  short years here on this earth that make the difference between good and GREAT teacher . . .

* Great teachers ASPIRE to bring out the BEST in their students and are not satisfied to let them squeeze by or fall through the cracks.

* Great teachers will put students ahead of themselves by GIVING of their time. They will go the extra mile to show them they care and are others focused.

*Great teachers don’t give students the answers or make things easy for them. They consistently DEMONSTRATE and then challenge the student through constructive examples and reasoning to come up with an answer or the solution independently.

*Great teachers are GRACEFUL. They consistently give additional chances to earn a better grade or to improve a negative behavior for students who are trying their best.

* Great teachers are HONEST. They don’t promise things will always be easy, but they inspire students to do their best through their consistent examples and care.

* Great teachers will look beyond a child’s shortcomings or disabilities at CHALLENGE them to succeed to the best of their ability.  They see the greatness within EVERY child.

*Great teachers are HUMBLE. They admit their own struggles and are transparent and vulnerable with their students in order to help them grow and learn.

*Great teachers are ENCOURAGERS and inspire students by their words and actions and to help them to reach their full potential.

*Great teachers are forever LEARNERS. They never stop trying to improve their knowledge or gain more information to help themselves and others succeed.

* Great teachers CARE about the HEART of a child above all else, even above the child’s education.

Now with all this talk of greatness in teachers, I can honestly say that when I was in school, I was a very poor student.  School was hard for me and I did what I had to do to get by. I was also a daydreamer and when the going got tough, I zoned out.  There are times that I wish that with all I’ve learned in the school of “hard knox”,  that I could go back and have a do over in my early education. But I pray that with all of the lessons I’ve since learned in this lifetime, that I would now be a much better teacher than I was student.

What I mean by all of this is that we are ALL teachers in some form or another.  I say this because every human being makes an impact and has an influence on others around them.  These are the people that God has placed in your care and in your life.  Daily we all have to make choices, we can either be a good teacher (influence), or a bad one.  JESUS was the only perfect teacher.  I surely do my share of messing things up now and then.  But I know that as I continue to grow and follow the “Good Teacher,” that he will help direct my life in ways that are pleasing to his him.  And I can trust that when I fail, that God is always acting out of a heart of love and he disciplines and trains me in the way I should go for my own good.

Jesus was the greatest teacher who ever walked the earth.  He came into this world to give us an example to follow and we were told that we should walk in his footsteps.  I was also reminded of this passage in John 13:13-17 . . . You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Thank you God for the truth of your word.  Help us to walk in wisdom and grace. Thank you for sending the perfect example for us to follow, your beloved son Jesus.  HE alone is the perfect teacher.  Help us to follow in his footsteps and always do our best for you. Thank you for your amazing love for us. To you be the glory both now and forever. AMEN

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

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