Proverbs 2:6 (New International Version)
6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Yesterday, on my post about teachers, there were some wonderful reflective comments and I loved them all. Two of them took the time to remember teachers too: Brave Raven with humour, and Susan with poignancy. I hope they don't mind, but I would like to share them for today's post.
Brave Raven said...
Aaah, teachers. I too have some unforgettable ones: Mrs. Foy and Mrs. Elliot who taught me to speak English; Mr. Blake who called me up after a poetry assignment and said, "You should do this for a living;" Mr. Finn, who told me no matter what I did, I'd be a success. Hmmmm. I hope I never run into these people. They would wonder what happened and probably blame themselves. HA HA.
Then, there was a Grade Five. Horrific Grade Five. Her breasts were so pointy that we were convinced they were made of plastic. I'll never forget one boy Ed giving her a "compliment:" "Miss, I like your......shirt." Our entire class erupted in "inside joke" laughter. Pleased by his comedic success at the expense of this miserable lady (who should have chosen another profession that did not involve working with children,) he tried again the next day:"Miss, I like your....hair." Devastating silence followed by unfortunate consequences....for Ed!
I talked to my uncle last week who is a teacher. I said, "I hope you guys know what a lasting negative effect your actions can have on the lives of the kids you teach when you handle things badly...
"He answered that yes, he does understand and said, "It scares the hell out of me".
It should.I had some horrendous teachers who just didn't "get" me. I also had a couple who were outstanding. Mrs. Street (Grade 4) made me feel like I could do ANYTHING - and for her I tried to! I did so well that year that they advanced me a Grade in the middle of February. When she took me down to the nurse's office to tell me that she would no longer be my teacher that year, I bawled! I went into Mrs. Abey's class, who made me feel just the opposite. That I couldn't do ANYTHING. And I didn't. In spite of being reasonably intelligent, and having just been accelerated a year, I then failed two grades in a row. I think part of that was just that they didn't know what to do with me for the most part and decided I was a "bad" kid. So I was.
Then there was Mr. Reimer, a principal in public school, who I saw again in my forties. He remembered me vividly and said, while he rubbed his chin, and with a great twinkle in his eye, "Ah, I remember you! YOU were a CHALLENGE!" He said it like being a challenge was a gift or something. He used to help me control my behaviour by extending GRACE - he would give me jobs to do like ringing the bell for recess, or taking notes around for all the teachers to sign once they'd read it. It was entirely undeserved, but it made me feel important and responsible, and I did my best to live up to his expectations. I never wanted to let him down. I loved that man and can't wait to see him in heaven. He made SUCH a huge difference in my childhood. Just simple acceptance and instead of trying to change me, he chose to channel my energy into worthwhile activities and thereby gave me a goal to shoot for that was entirely unspoken, but very tangible.
I wish all teachers knew what he did and realized that EVERY kid in their heart wants to do well. I know I did. I think the worst thing you can do to a kid is to take their behaviour personally... We, as adults, have the power to consolidate in a child either the positive or the negative. You are so right that we need to be incredibly careful and accepting and understanding of children... We need to respond to the BEHAVIOUR, without judgement, manipulation or control. I wish I'd done a better job as a parent. Thank God we get a second chance through our grandchildren and all the other kids in our lives.
1 Corinthians 1:25-27 (New International Version)
25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.