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The Responsibility of a Teacher

For me as a teacher, one of the scariest Bible verses is James 3:1 which states, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Whenever I read that verse, I am very thankful for the forgiveness and grace of God that cover my mistakes and inadequacies!

Throughout my career, I have worked with many teachers. Some are phenomenal and inspiring, seeing in each of their students more than what the students often see in themselves and encouraging those students to become all that they were created to be. Others see teaching as just a job; they come in each day, do what they are required to do, and simply impart knowledge without any real inspiration. Then, unfortunately, there are the others who actually do more harm than good.

Recently a friend of mine was telling me about one such teacher. This teacher has no idea how much harm she has done to my friend’s son. Her negative attitude has made him question his hopes and dreams for the future and has made him feel less able to do the things he has always wanted to do. These are the teachers who break my heart.

The verse in the book of James is one that Christian teachers should take very seriously. As an educator, I am entrusted with the lives, hopes, and dreams of precious children. I can either encourage my students, guiding them into greater things and inspiring them to reach beyond what they imagine they are capable of doing, or I can do great harm through negative attitudes and interactions.

I recently saw a quote posted on social media, attributed to Dr. Kevin Maxell that says,:

“Our job is to teach the students we have. Not the ones we would like to have. Not the ones we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them.”

That is our desire here at KCA. God brings us children of all abilities and giftings, and we seek to help them thrive. Many come to us broken by systems that have failed them. We meet them where they are and encourage them to discover and become all that God created them to be. We do this because we recognize that each one is a treasure and that we have been given both the huge privilege and great responsibility to impact their lives. And, as James 3:1 reminds us, we will be accountable not just to their parents and our community, but to God who has entrusted them to us for this time.

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