This is the last week of the semester. It will mark the end of my 47th consecutive year of teaching. I can't believe it. Wasn't it just yesterday that I entered the classroom for the first time? One of my favorite stories about teaching comes from Rafe Esquith's book Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire.
One day he was so caught up in his science lesson that his hair caught on fire and he never even noticed it. Teaching with passion is so fulfilling! Is there another profession that is as emotionally satisfying and simultaneously demanding as teaching? Passionate teachers love their students and never stop telling them that. They voice confidence in their students' ultimate success. They find great satisfaction in their work. Seeing a student report an "aha" moment after they've been struggling with, say, a Greek tense, has got to be one of the most rewarding experiences in all of life. The simple, silly, satisfying joys of teaching are too numerous to count. The only way to outlive yourself is through others. I am thankful to be a teacher because I have the opportunity to train people how to study the Bible in a way that will revolutionize their lives. I hope you don't mind that I have always tried to "put the cookies on the lower shelf." In fact, I don't think I could teach any other way!
Are you ready to get started? Do you want to know God more intimately? Are you open to change? Are there habits you need to break or establish? Are their relationships that need to be healed? I can assure you, there is no joy comparable to the joy that comes from a firsthand study of the Scripture.
To all teachers who have changed lives this school year: thank you for your service. Your passionate instruction has put others in a position to succeed. You deserve to be appreciated every day. That's how amazing you are.