teacher—one who causes another to know, who guides, who imparts
Jesus was called Teacher. The writer of Ecclesiastes was called Teacher. To be among such as these is a high calling indeed.
The great difference, however, between the Master Teacher—Jesus Christ—and all others makes this sacred trust a heavy calling, as well.
To those of you given this calling, we bless you.
Blessings on all you give above and beyond
Just this week, after what some mistakenly think is your extended vacation, you welcomed students back into the classroom for another school year. Before your students arrived, you prepared yourself and your classrooms.
You thought about your students all summer long, wondering how those from last year were doing and wondering what your new students would be like. You started work on your classrooms well before mid-August. You started your workdays before sunup and finished after sundown for days on end.
Some of your students can’t afford school supplies. You make sure they have them, even if it means you use your own money, and you don’t say anything about how that eats into your limited funds.
Some of your students can’t afford clothes that fit. Without embarrassing them, you find clothes for them, maybe even using some of what you have left after you’ve bought school supplies.
We bless you.
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Blessings on all you know about your community
You know our communities better than we do. You know what the adults in our communities think, feel and do because you hear it from and see it in your students. That is a lot to know, and as hard as it can be, you hold what you know graciously.
The good stuff about our communities is not much trouble to carry. We all celebrate that. But you also know the ugly and hidden stuff about our communities. In the places where the community is hopeless, you shine hope by continuing to teach our children day in and day out. In so doing, you live the hope that things can be better.
We bless you.
Blessings on all you hold in one classroom
You see it all: the hungry child, the spoiled child, the confident and assured child, the abused and crushed child, the calm and easy child, the difficult and challenging child. You see the athletic, the popular and the cool; you see the invisible, the different, the anxious and lonely. You see them all, and sometimes you wonder if we see you.
You pour yourself into children and watch the news like the rest of us. You wonder what will become of those you spend hours, days, weeks and years with, teaching, training, shaping and loving.
They may grow up to hurt us, haunt us, help us or heal us. You don’t know what they will become, and yet you love them still. You care for them the same, and you give yourself to them the same.
We bless you.
Blessings on all you receive
You do all of this while receiving much less pay than many of your students’ parents. You do this sometimes receiving a little bit more than some of the students’ families, which is a different burden. When you have the strength to take it all in stride, it’s because teaching is your calling.
It’s easy for a calling to become a career, a joy to become a job. The world has a way of diminishing our souls that way. You deserve better than that from us.
Those of us who see you are in awe of you. We bless you to spread your wings and soar on the rising winds of your calling and joy.
Eric Black is the executive director, publisher and editor of the Baptist Standard. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @EricBlackBSP. The views expressed are those solely of the author.