Outstanding educators

Our expression of Christly love has a lot more to do with quality education than we might imagine.

Not long ago I watched a broadcast of the American Teacher Awards ceremony. Outstanding public school teachers from around the United States were honored—and not just for enhancing pupils' academic skills. More significant was the spirit with which these men and women teach. It enables them to nourish in pupils a readiness to learn, a desire to contribute, a willingness to love and understand others. At times that nourishment has taken place in an otherwise undernourished setting—where some vital educational resources are in short supply. Their accomplishments hint at a support each one of us can give to schools and young people—no matter what our occupation may be. For the benefit of ourselves and our communities it's time to deepen through prayer our appreciation for and participation in true education.

Many of us have had at least a glimpse of this genuine education when educators have affected our lives as much as our knowledge. Pressed to say what these people taught us, we might admit that we learned much through their example of love or integrity—through the way they worked with us, through the feeling they helped us gain of our real possibilities and purpose. These qualities draw their power from divine Spirit, from God. And one of the greatest ways of helping our schools is to cherish such qualities as expressing the true nature of man in God's image, and as therefore available to students and educators alike.

March 1, 1993

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