Friday, March 31, 2017

Teaching Falls Like Rain

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 88: Today... I am grateful for teaching that falls like rain.

Who were the teachers that really changed you life? We all have them. Some came out of formal education settings. Others, worked beside us in barns, in workshops, in Sunday School and even at the local library. Learning is exciting when the teaching falls like rain. 

This has been a happy - sad week. 

A man who is one of the most treasured in our school district has spent 19 years at the junior high teaching students just entering the treacherous waters of adolescence. 

He should get a medal for that alone, right? Actually, he passes through with a smile every, single day.He has loved what he does and the ripple effect cannot be measured. I do not doubt the difficulty of this decision as he prayed through it with his wife. 

He received his doctorate, but remained in the middle school classroom. He had more to teach and more to learn. Yes... he learns from his students and that is what makes it so hard to leave them. 

I am so grateful he waited and I was able to get to know him. He is a real treasure.

As a mutual friend and teacher said so well, "I don't remember having any education professors with that much classroom experience." Illinois State University has just added a gem of great worth to their education team. He will raise the bar with his character, his experiences and his love of students. 

To say teaching is his passion would be an understatement. His heart and his art is to teach them to think for themselves. 
As we grow up, we must learn to take in the information and messages around us and discern and learn from them. 

Critical thinking is a skill learned best in a safe environment that encourages one to think outside the box... and to support those thoughts with facts, research or better yet... more questions. 

The best teachers are those who engage the student who question them with excitement. Anyone can find ways to teach facts. The gifted teacher inspires a student to ask more questions than they have the knowledge or opportunity to answer in a short class period. 

Masterful educators don't shut down the student who disagrees... they engage them. They encourage them to think it through. "What led you to that belief?" "What have you seen that supports that idea?"

As I let the news settle... yes, I am sad. But, I am so excited for his next chapter, too. He has proven faithful and God has blessed him. When I didn't have the right words... I turned to "The Word". It never fails. The Prayer of Jabez came to mind in an instant. 

The Prayer of Jabez is not a prosperity prayer, but the prayer of a sincere heart to good... and not bring pain. To increase the margin of influence to make a difference. 

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. -1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV)

Educators have a powerful place in society. To think what the future has in store for this man is the happy. More students will experience his teaching like fresh rain... I pray their souls will be thirsty for what this special educator has to offer. 

One more verse came to mind.It from Deuteronomy 32, when Moses is passing the torch to Joshua before his death at age 120 and 40 years of leading the Israelites in the desert. Not every day was easy or joyful. Some days, Moses was not sure of his leadership when they refused to learn and listen. Still, Moses persevered. Every day there were lessons. The certainty of God's promises and His love for them proved true. 

The best teaching prove themselves true. Some take more time. Love never fails and truth prevails.

May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. -Deuteronomy 32:2

Thank you Ben W. for all you have poured out like rain. The cup overflows.

Today... I am grateful for teaching that falls like rain.

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