Teachers Care |DR. R. CLIFFORD JONES

R. Clifford Jones

When you review your educational journey, does a particular teacher come to mind?   Maybe you were a failing, floundering student who was rescued by a teacher’s belief in you. Or perhaps you were thinking of giving up when a teacher talked you into pressing on.  Maybe you were confused about a career choice and a teacher’s counsel helped steer you into a worthwhile vocation. Or perhaps you were struggling in your faith development when a teacher’s listening ear and heartfelt prayer helped to steady you. Maybe you were excelling in the classroom and a teacher’s mentorship caused you to rise higher and accomplish more.

It is difficult to overestimate the impact teachers make. After parents, teachers exert the most profound and protracted influence on children, and, given that some parents are absent from their children’s lives, the impact of teachers on these individuals tend to be more significant and telling. Teachers are often the first models and examples of steadiness and dependability.

Studies have confirmed that teachers play a critical role in the development and success of students.  Teachers do more than simply transmit information and share knowledge. When it comes to student success, the characteristics of the teacher trump facilities, financial affordability, and even curriculum. Over and over, people have stated that their teachers were the single most important factor in their successful pursuit of a diploma or degree. In other words, were it not for their teachers, many would not have made it.

Why do people become teachers? Certainly, not for the salary, as teachers do not earn that much. The low pay of teachers is well documented. It is not for the hours, as teachers work long hours that extend well beyond the classroom. It is not for the accolades, as teachers often suffer abuse and misunderstanding that betray society’s low estimate of them. I believe that people embrace the teaching profession because they genuinely care. The joy of seeing students grow in knowledge and faith development is what causes people to become and remain teachers. Truly, Christian teachers care!

We can never thank teachers enough for what they do and for pouring so much into our lives. Teachers are the reason so many succeed. We are indebted to our teachers and need to honor and celebrate them for the special work they do. They have earned and deserve our gratitude.

During this Teacher Appreciation Week let us take a moment or two to help make a teacher know that he or she is special. Let us thank a teacher for the significant roles he or she plays in society. The time and energy that teachers invest in their work continue to shape and transform lives for now and eternity, and it is because of the selfless service of our teachers that Adventist Education continues to provide a distinct advantage.

The Lake Region Conference wishes to thank you, teachers, for what you do and, more importantly, who you are! We deeply appreciate each of you. Continued blessings and success in your ministry.