School, as everyone knows, is back in session. If you're a teacher, I have a question for you. Do you love your students? Do they know that you love them? Paul's love for people is well-known. The relations between Paul and, say, his Christian friends in Philippi, were very loving, very intimate, and very tender. "I have you in my heart," he says in the opening of the letter. "God is my witness how I long for all of you with the affection of Jesus Christ." He calls them his beloved brothers and sisters and his joy and crown.
In short, he loves them.
Here are a few ways in which we can show our students that we love them:
- Begin and end class on time.
- Answer emails promptly.
- Come to class well prepared.
- Chat with students before and after class.
- Keep your office door open.
- Be available for personal tutoring.
- Tell the class, "I love you."
- Offer extra credit on every quiz and exam.
- Treat them respectfully.
- Warn and admonish them when necessary.
- Be to them like a gentle mother and a tender father (1 Thess. 2:7-12).
- Overlook minor faults and failings.
- Value their opinions.
- Inspire them by your own example to live up to their potential.
Here's how Paul puts it in Rom. 12:7:
The Living Bible translates this as: "If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching." I love that! Whatever our gifts are, let's employ them cheerfully and diligently.
In short, BE the BEST teacher you can be.