9 May

“The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires.”  William Arthur Ward

It was in the middle of the afternoon yesterday that I saw, while surfing on line, that it was Teacher Appreciation Day.  I felt bad about it  because I had the perfect opportunity to thank all the teachers: at the all school Mass in the morning.  Instead, all I could do was send them an email telling them of my appreciation for them.  This reflection is still timely, though, since it is also Teacher Appreciation Week.

Teachers are very special people.  They give so much of themselves in order for their students to learn.  Teachers are not paid what they are worth, either in a private school or in public schools.  With the awesome responsibility that they have, their pay is mere peanuts.

However, if you speak to almost any teacher, they will tell you that they get a lot out of teaching.  It is not in the paycheck.  No.  For teachers, their paycheck is a student that blooms and thrives.  There is something very special about seeing a student “get it” for the very first time.  When the light bulb turns on and a student understands math, well, you cannot purchase that kind of satisfaction anywhere.  When a student comes up to a teacher and pours his or her heart out seeking advice and/or help, the feeling is indescribable.

Our teachers deserve so much.  They are inspirations to us all.

Jesus was the consummate teacher.  He gave everything He had to His students.  He helped them understand the mysteries of life.  He instilled in them a sense of mission, of duty, and of love.  He taught not only by word but also by deed.

As we laud our teachers, we remember that we are called to be teachers as well.  We may not teach — or even be able to teach — math or science or social studies or language arts or a myriad of other subjects.  However, we can all teach the faith not only by words, but by deeds.  If you are struggling with how to do that, look at the example of our best teacher, Jesus, and do as He did.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for all those in the teaching profession, that they receive all the graces that they need to be the best possible inspiration for their students.