The Privileged Life: Teaching

best class ever“Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass.” Deuteronomy 32:2 (NKJV)

It’s back to school time, back to campus life! For teachers and students, this is a lovely little honeymoon time right now…before the homework piles up, before grading becomes a chore, before testing sends waves of panic. I love it because everything is a fresh start: new students, new instructors, new books, new friends, new opportunities.

As I head back to the classroom to once again introduce college students to the dazzling world of public relations, I’m reminded of those who have gone before me…those who taught us how to read, write, add, research, type, test, and discover. We’re only here because others came before us, guiding us and teaching us the facts, answers, skills, questions, vagaries, and other ways of life.

Teaching can be a huge blessing for the teacher and the student. At its best, it’s an interaction of learning, where both gain knowledge and wisdom from each other. A mentor who pours his or her heart into teaching gains as much or more than the ones sitting in the desks.

The privilege of teaching carries the weight of responsibility, too, for student outcomes. A sign in my dad’s old radio school loudly proclaimed, “If the student hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.” It’s up to students to crack the books, but it’s up to the teachers to inspire them to do so.

This semester is one more chance for me to prove myself in the classroom, to go above and beyond the expected lectures, to get jaded students engaged in the work. It takes a lot of effort and creativity, plus a lot of teaching skills that don’t come naturally to me. But with the grace of God, maybe one or two of my students will walk away with a better grasp of what’s been laid out before them. And perhaps my greatest reward is seeing smiles on their faces…enjoyed in the photo above at our celebratory brunch following their awesome client presentation!

I pray that if you’re in a classroom somewhere, you’ll have at least one moment of wonder this week when you can exclaim, “Wow! I didn’t know that before.” If so, thank a teacher, and thank God for placing that person in your life!

Jesus, our greatest Teacher, thank You for the opportunity for us to learn from everyone around us…each person we meet has something to teach us. Thank you for teachers who tirelessly work to bring energy and passion to their subjects. Bless students everywhere who are walking into classrooms—give them a passion for lifelong learning. In Your marvelous name we pray, Amen.

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