Since it has been a few weeks since the last post in this series, so let’s quick revisit where we’ve been. We have been looking at some keys for teachers in maintaining good classroom management. We looked at “avoiding mutiny by boarding the H.M.S. Bounty”. The ‘H’ stood for hope, the ‘M’ for match, and the ‘S’ for serve. The final aspect of the analogy is the bounty, which is going to be addressed in the next post, Lord willing. Today, we are going to look at the concept of servitude.
As a teacher, we are servants. We serve our students every day. If you don’t believe me, then perhaps I need to give a definition for servitude. Servitude, from a Christian viewpoint, is doing what’s best for others, often at the expense of one’s own time and energy, in order that God be glorified. As teachers, this is what we do. We serve our students by wanting what is best for them and doing our best to help them be the best servants of God that they can be. We serve them by showing them in our lives that we match up our walk with the walk required by our God. We serve our students when we show them how God is seen in the content areas that we teach. We continue to serve our students when we help them navigate the sometimes-difficult, occasionally-drama-ridden rollercoaster of building friendships and developing social lives within the covenant. We especially serve our students by utilizing wisdom in doing what is best for the students. This isn’t always what the students want. That’s not the service that we are called to. The service we do for our students can sometimes be tough love when discipline is necessary.
The important part of this equation, though, lies in the last part of the definition of servitude: in order that God be glorified. That is the end goal of our service. It ought not be for our glory. It should be our utmost joy to serve God and teach our students to serve God with gladness in their hearts. This comes as a mild warning. It can be easy to lose the joy of this service amongst piles of papers to grade, lesson-planning, student-induced headaches, and the everyday cares of life that often grows and swells over the course of the school year. May we remember the joy we have in serving our Lord in serving our students.
May Psalm 100 serve as encouragement and inspiration for you as you push through to the end of the ever-upcoming close to the school-year:
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Mr. Ethan Mingerink is a teacher at Covenant Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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