Friday, January 31, 2014

If I Don't Love

1 Corinthians 13

The Message (MSG)

"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love."

I love this verse.  I love the simplicity of relationship with Jesus.  It's really all about love.  Knowing and loving God more, and knowing and loving people more.  I've been reflecting on what this passage means for me as a teacher.  You see, there are many tasks in my job that take my time and attention.  I often spend hours preparing lessons, grading, and etc.  I have to take so many factors into consideration.  Does research prove that this is good teaching?  Will my students be engaged during this lesson?  Will my kiddos hate this?  Is my class managed well--will this keep my students on task?  Am I reaching multiple students at a range of levels and learning styles?  Will my students meet the standards mandated by the state?     

Sometimes just simply loving my students can fall at the wayside.  But even if I have the most amazing instruction and I don't show my students love, have I really accomplished anything in light of eternity?  So here is the Chelsea Standard Version of this text (or perhaps the Teacher's Standard Version):

"If I explain my lessons with perfect clarity but my students don't know that I care, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  If I give a lesson that incorporates best practice, reaches visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners but my students don't feel loved, it means nothing.  If my students are on the edge of their seats and wildly entertained during my class but I don't love them, I've gotten nowhere.  So no matter what I teach, how I teach it, or how well my students perform on standardized tests, my classroom is bankrupt without love."

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