I remember reading a story about an amazing 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 to investigate.
What he found out was nothing short of amazing. After interviewing this successful group of people the reporter traced the success of this class to one teacher. All of 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 great 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 important strategy. When asked the teacher simply said, “I just loved those kids”.
Her secret to success was going the extra mile to help kids learn and to know their story personally. She encouraged the kids to do their best daily. She praised them when they needed praise and gently corrected the students when they needed to learn from their mistakes. At the root of her teaching and coaching was a true love and care for helping kids succeed. In her case, love really did win.
What a lesson for all of us who work with kid’s day in and day out. Just loving kids is how to make champions of kids in the class room, on the sports field, in the music hall, and in 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 is sometimes the only pep talk they need to do great things in life.
Just loving and truly caring for kids is the greatest teaching and coaching tool of all. Jesus told us that loving God and loving others are the two most important things in life. Nothing else matters nearly as much in this life.
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 important to the well-being of the next generation than learning how to love God and to love others well. This will never be done perfectly. However, like the teacher in the story, there are people who live out these values much more than others.
Just love those kids,