I remember reading a story about a fantastic class reunion
many years ago. The students had an incredibly high percentage of successful
people in their class. Many became doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers,
Church leaders, and other people who loved their chosen profession. Somehow, a
reporter heard about the incredible accomplishments of this class and decided
What he found out was nothing short of amazing. After interviewing this thriving group of people, the reporter traced this class's success to one teacher. The people interviewed mentioned this teacher by name as the most important person and factor in their career and professional journey.
The reporter then asked the teacher what her secret to success was in those days. He asked questions like, "Was your success attributable to some new curriculum? Was your success aligned with excellent classroom management procedures? Was there something about your unique teaching style that helped the kids learn?
Of course, all of these areas were factors in the teacher's success. However, these strategies were not the most critical strategy. When asked, the teacher said, "I just loved those kids."
Her secret to success was going the extra mile to help kids learn and know their stories personally. Encouraging kids was one of the top values she lived daily. She praised them when they needed praise and gently corrected them when learning from their mistakes. At the root of her teaching and coaching was true love and care for helping kids succeed. In her case, love did win.
The lessons from this story are many for us who work with kids day in and day out. Just loving kids is how to make champions of kids in the classroom, the sports field, the music hall, and all other areas of life. Going the extra mile by lending a helping hand when a child is struggling is what that child will remember. Encouragement and expressing confidence in a child are sometimes the only pep talk they need to do great things in life.
Just loving and genuinely caring for kids is the most effective teaching and coaching tool of all. Loving God and other people are the two most important things in life. Nothing else in this life matters nearly as much.
Select your educational institutions and specific school activities not only for their technical competence; go where love flourishes and resonates daily in the lives of children.
There is nothing more critical to the next generation's well-being than learning how to love God and love others well. Loving God and others is never done perfectly. However, like the teacher in the story, some people live out these values much more than others.
Just love those kids.
Read Matthew 22:36-40 for more information on the importance
of loving kids
Photo Credit: Dan Ashe