Love Your Neighbor. Yes, Teachers Too.

With school starting back up next week for those in our community, it is inevitable for most parents to hear a version of the following statement, “I don’t like Ms./Mr. _____________.” I remember being in school and having the teachers I liked and others not so much. Often times I would use this as an excuse for how I treated them or placed importance on their class.

Over the past few years, my perspective and approach toward teachers and students responses to them has changed. It is partly to do with being in youth ministry and also having a sister who is a high school teacher. It is easy for us to see teachers as just the persona they give in the classroom and forget they have lives outside of the classroom just like everyone else. Each day they deal with personal and family struggles that just like us often can make it into the work place, which just happens to be their classroom. They (like us) try not to let this happen in such a way that it affects their work, but, let’s be honest, it happens.

 I know parents, it shouldn’t be an excuse for how they treat your little angel, but let’s take a step back and gain a little perspective. After all, you wouldn’t want that teacher to jump to conclusions about your child without a little background. Why should we be any different?

When Jesus encountered people whom many jumped to conclusions, he took the route of a bigger perspective. He chose love over judgment and assumptions. The kingdom way seems to always take this approach.

So what do we do when that inevitable statement shows up one day after school? Why not take the opportunity to encourage an active love approach. Many might be afraid that they might be seen as a “suck up” or “brown noser.” Understandably so, but only from the standpoint that the intention of being nice and loving is to gain something in return. Loving as Jesus does, expects no response. It has no conditions, and, therefore, is not “brown nosing.”

The truth is that just like young people need to know they are valued and loved, teachers do too. Actually, everyone needs to know this truth. Part of teaching (by the professional and the parent) is to make sure that young people aren’t just taking in but also giving out. After all, most studies today show that the best learning takes place through participation and practice. In other words, doing.

What will be your response to that statement when it comes?

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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