Skip to main content

The most dangerous profession

Have you ever noticed how teachers are often portrayed as martyrs? This was one of the main themes of La lengua de las mariposas, a Spanish language film I watched recently.

What can be more poignant than an educator pouring out his life for the sake of his pupils?

Dead Poet's Society, Stand and Deliver...classics! The teacher unlocks the imagination; sets new standards; brings the misfit out of his shell. And let's not forget the frontier schoolmistresses who could do everything: teach all the grade levels at once, keep the fire going, and handle a rifle to stave off wolves and other intruders...read more/-

Though dramatized by Hollywood, the expectation on a teacher is great. He must navigate a web of relationships. Parents want their children to succeed. Children want to be entertained. The administration wants those kids to be meeting national standards.

What is a teacher to do? If he sticks to the rules, he is boring. If he thinks outside the box, trying new approaches to teaching, he could create a scandal.

I had a substitute teacher for a few days at the university. She spoke very fast and sharply, and many of us in the group agreed that she was a bit intimidating. "Oh, no," said my friend in the group, a fellow missionary. "I had her last semester and she was one of my favorites. She just seems a little harsh at first."

We had her again today, and my friend was right. She was a good teacher. She got to the heart of confusion, answering all our questions. She encouraged us to use new concepts right away; to apply them in our speech. She managed to give compliments to those who were struggling, lifting their spirits.

In the middle of the class, the teacher told us, "Let's get away from syntax for a moment. What were your first impressions of me?" We squirmed, not wanting to reveal our collective mistaken opinion. "Many students think I'm too strict," she said. "But I'm really not. First impressions can be wrong."

Have you ever been touched by seeing the "human" side of a teacher? Or as a teacher, have you ever looked at a mischievous class of students and felt that they didn't even see you as a person?

For all the misunderstandings that teachers experience, comfort is found in the life of Christ. Here is one profession that we can say for sure was close to Him. We don't know all the details, but we know that as a teacher He was received sometimes with crowds and cheering, sometimes with ostracism. Sometimes He was admired; sometimes rejected as a radical.

The teachers in the movies are sometimes killed; or die a symbolic death as they risk much. I know many non-Christian teachers who pour themselves out to the same extent, while not knowing Christ. But the fact that there is a Savior who shared their profession and understands their challenges-this can be a point of conversation, and a source of hope.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Movie theater triggers

Summer always has a special feeling in the air. In St. Petersburg, of course, it stays light until close to midnight nowadays.

David's workshops are over, so he is on "vacation," resting from all his hard work. ;)

Andrei's workload fluctuates. Lately we've been having guests several times a week, so it feels busy even though Andrei is working fewer days. And the summer will probably fly by!

Since Saturdays are free now, Andrei and David (almost 6) went to the movies this weekend. And they let ME come, too! My in-laws stayed home with Sophia (almost 2). We don't often do this type of configuration because David is so attached to his grandparents. But he was okay with leaving with us as long as he knew he could play with them afterwards.

It was my first time in a movie theater since The Fire at Kemerovo a few months ago. I wouldn't really say I was nervous, just more aware. Probably the way Americans might have felt after the Aurora shooting. I looked arou…

Hobby pruning

I promised myself that if I did some paper sorting I could do a new blog post.

Remember hobbies? When I got married I swore I would never let myself forget how busy I was when I was single. And by that I mean look down on unmarried men and women as if they had lots of free time on their hands. We all have plenty to keep us busy. And who made it a virtue to be busy, anyway?

But, I will say that I was SHOCKED to open up all my old notepads and skim through them. Detailed notes from sermons, grammar from studying several languages (mainly Greek, French, and Italian) for FUN as well as formal Russian courses. Notebooks full of Bible passages and questions that I had written down meticulously. A Calligraphy instructional guide along with several pages of my attempts. And of course there were all the notes from lesson planning for teaching English, and different ministry projects I was involved in.

Although looking at the notes made me jealous of my past self as if I had lots of free time,…

A tender heart

Andrei and I were having an intense discussion. I was crying. I think it was the second day of it, and when you live in an apartment, nothing gets past the kids (or neighbors-not that there was anything to be concerned about).

David was desperate to cheer everyone up. He ran up, forced himself between us, and shoved a book about the Nativity in our faces. He turned the pages, pointing to each picture depicting the birth of Jesus.

He thought that the birth of Christ would be the thing to put a smile on everyone's faces. Wasn't the Nativity enough to make everyone's problems melt away? It should be the correct answer, right? We did kind of turn the corner after that and had everything cleared up with a little more discussion.

Before bedtime, I went into David's room to assess the situation since the kids had been playing in there. There were a bunch of books on the bed and I wondered why the kids had gotten into the books. It wasn't something David would normally do …