Children do not choose their school teacher. Teachers do not choose them. Generally, this is true. While many parents attempt to have their children placed in the classroom of a particular teacher, and some teachers try to have themselves placed away from children known to be problematic, mostly, both the children and their teacher size each other up on the first day of school. But, who is a school teacher? A person who seeks the teaching profession does so for a variety of reasons. Women dominate this field of work. Many of them seek the education curriculum in college because they anticipate being mothers. A school can be close to their home, the work hours not so long, and they might tap into a sisterhood of sorts that cooperates with their expected need to care for their own children while they earn an income.
Many of the women who enter this profession stay with it for a long career. It is the profession that they know, plus the income is needed, so it makes sense for them to stick with it. Both women and men enter this line of work out of a long-standing family tradition of teaching. In my family, there has been a teacher in each generation from the late 1800’s to 2013. With a little sadness about it, I tell you that the line is now broken in the next generation of my extended family. Why do I say that? It is because I know that teachers are often far more than subject instructors. For young children, they can be their “other mom.” For children who must endure a broken home, a teacher can be the other mom who completes something in them that they cannot otherwise have. For children of an angry home, their teacher can literally be their best chance to survive childhood. The real value that a teacher provides to children, and to her local community, can be the measure of how great is her heart. There can be far more to a school teacher than her skill to teach English, math, or science.
Many times each day, a teacher must be brave. If they see wrong, they must stand up to the one who does wrong, be that a child or an adult who has wronged a child. They risk their own happiness, their profession, and sometimes their safety when they take a moral stand. The school administration will not always back them even if they are right in their stance, not because the administration is immoral, but because it is political. How noble is this? Take a look in the Christian Bible at the verses in Matthew 18 to see what Jesus said about the importance of children to God.
Ask a child what he or she thinks of their teacher. You will know from their voice if their teacher loves them, cares for them, makes their life happy, and if they have been taught and have learned the knowledge that they need to progress. Many children grow up to become strong, to do great things, lead moral families, and they become pillars of strength in their communities. A great number of these people grew up to become what is good in this world by once being children who were nurtured by the kindness and love that dwelled in the gracious heart of their teacher.