Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why Your Kids' Teachers Are Heroes . . . At Least Most of Them

Recently we took three of our grandsons to one of their favorite science museums. But as we drove into the parking lot we saw bus after bus parked end to end and knew that meant one thing . . . school field trips and lots of them. Kids would be everywhere.

Sure enough there were lots of elementary and middle school students walking through the exhibits with their teachers herding, guiding and cajoling as kids that age do what they do. And I was reminded that these teachers do this every day and it is not easy.

Are there crummy, incompetent teachers out there? Of course. I have had some here and there from elementary to graduate school. But there are way more who in their own way are stellar making a difference in our lives and the lives of our children.

Sure there are lousy teachers just like there are lousy employees in most professions. No teacher is perfect either. It irritates me, having been a teacher of all kinds much of my life, when parents have to have a certain special teacher and obnoxiously demand their kids have only "the best." The best ones aren't only those who turn our kids into academic superstars, however. In fact if that's all they do they aren't necessarily the best.

Let me suggest what a great teacher is and does:

Great teachers love and respect our kids as individuals. They don't expect everyone in their class to look, perform or respond the same. They get excited when a child has a unique talent and then they get to help them develop it. They care about the brightest and those more average. Each one matters to great teachers.

Great teachers see potential and they don't give up. My tenth and eleventh grade English teacher was the toughest in the school. And during my sophomore year I hoped to God that I would only have her one year. Not to be. She was my guide for half of my high school education. But Mrs. G never quit on me and plowed the foundation for me to learn and love writing like I do today. There must have been days when she thought there was no hope for me but she looked ahead not back.

Great teachers build relationships along with enforcing their rules. Classes need structure and students will require discipline. But every kid needs someone who knows and cares about them. How many young people have no parent that cares and no one to simply listen to them? Teachers can help fill the gap and provide some needed affirmation missing from home. Not every child will let them get close but they try anyway.

So as the school year begins again, how about praying now for your kids' teachers and thanking God together for them. Many families of course will never thank these heroes personally or will wait twenty years to realize how important they were to them. Your words of appreciation during the year will also mean more to them than you can know and you will remind those special leaders that their passion for teaching really has been worth it.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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