Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reflections on Teachers

This coming Sunday I am beginning a new and short series of lessons called Back To School. I'm basically planning on using this time of "beginnings" to challenge everyone to refocus and reconnect with God. This Sunday I am discussing A Fresh Start, which is what the first days of a new School year are all about. As a result, I have really been doing a lot of reflecting and remembering as I try to deal accurately with what all our young people are heading into in the next couple weeks. I always loved the beginning of a new school year. I mention in this weeks bulletin article about my memories of seeing old friend, finding some new ones, wondering what kind of teacher I had, getting new books, new supplies, and, on a good year, some new clothes to wear for the first time. Looking good and feeling good! I was never afraid of going to school. I always looked forward to finishing up, what was by then, a long boring summer.
In the midst of all my reflecting, a couple things jumped out at me. First, what I'm talking about this Sunday, how important fresh starts are. We have so many throughout our lives and they are so pivotal for getting us back on track or reminding us of our priorities. Often those times of renewal are because of stressful changes in life - some by choice and some by circumstances, but they change us. As we grow older, we learn the importance of choosing renewal - of putting ourselves in a place we need to be to jump start our commitment. If we don't choose it, life will choose it for us - eventually.
The second thing that my reflecting did was remind me how important teachers have been in my life. I turned sixty last month, but I can tell you the name of every teacher I had since the first grade. I can see them in my mind, and I can remember things they taught me. That's saying a lot for a guy who can't remember the name of someone I shook hands with five minutes ago. It just reminds my that our culture has a truly twisted sense of who our heroes are. Those football, baseball, and basketball stars that we worshipped as we grew up are long forgotten. I lived through every Super Bowl Game ever played and I only remember a hand full. And those movie stars that we idolized over they years never did a single thing to improve the quality of our lives, and now they're just trivia questions every now and then on Jeopardy. But those teachers - men and women who never knew whether or not they made a difference, but who taught, encouraged, praise, and pushed all of us into another school year and into a better life - they are the real heroes of this world.
I wonder when we will start treating them with the recognition and reward they deserve? Could that be a better way to make sure "no child is left behind"?


Glenave Curtis said...

Sorry I can't read this now; it looks like a lot of "heavy stuff" and I want to soak it all in!

Glenave Curtis said...

I knew it was going to be a good one; thanks Mike.