Sunday, June 12, 2016

Love and Learning Go Hand in Hand

I was reading this morning from 1 Corinthians 13 this morning. Not to get all spiritual on everyone, I was, however, drawn into thought about the centrality of love with regard to schools and learning. As a teacher, if all l focus on is covering the curriculum outcomes without a love for the student, or a care for their situation in life, I may get results, but not near the results I would with love.

Let’s break this down. I’ve copied the passage that so many of us are familiar with from the numerous summer weddings we have attended. “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not brag, it is not puffed up, it does not behave inappropriately, it does not seek its own way, it is not provoked, it keeps no account of wrong, it does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices in the truth; it bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes all things, it endures all things. Love never fails.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4–8‬ ‭TLV

The teacher that loves the students, from a place so deep that cares for their being and the whole child, gets results beyond the curricular outcomes. That teacher puts the students needs before their own. That teacher is patient with all the frustrating and repeating negative behaviours of the student. That teacher shows kindness in return to rude comments and doesn’t keep a record of wrongdoings by the student. That teacher doesn’t think themselves better than any students but is grateful for the opportunity to positively influence and change a life. That teacher doesn’t dig in their heels against change because they want their own way, they put students first. That teacher doesn’t label students lazy when the student underperforms, instead, they look for ways to engage the student and build a healthy trusting relationship where learning can happen. That teacher embraces their own failures as well as the students so that they can both learn together. That teacher believes that students can learn and bears that responsibility to ensure every student is given that opportunity. That teacher possesses a hope that every student will grow up with a passion for learning and growing. No matter what happens in and out of the classroom, that teacher endures all things until retirement day still believing in students and wanting the best for them. Why? Because that teacher knows that love never fails.

I was talking to a friend and colleague recently, and he shared a story about going into a Principals office and being the question, “Whose the most important people in the school?” He replied, “The students.” The principal made the buzzing sound you hear when you give a wrong answer and said, “Wrong, the teachers are the most important.” I’m saddened by that principal’s perspective, because when we as teachers, administrators, and staff put students and their needs first, we all benefit in the end. In my school, students are the most important. Why? Because I love my students. I want them to learn. Love and learning go hand in hand.

You think about that.

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