A lesson for the teacher

Something I’ve had on my mind this week-

I’ve been a violin teacher for close to a year now. When I started, I had all of the teaching techniques I’d observed from my own teachers in my tool belt, and I myself was a good violinist. I had always wanted to be a teacher, but I was nervous, not knowing if I could succeed at teaching someone. So I took my concerns to the Lord and asked Him for guidance as I taught. Every time I went to teach, I would pause and pray for wisdom and knowledge on how to help my 1st student – and later, my growing studio full of students.

10 months later, and now with a studio that has doubled, grown, and doubled again, I keep being reminded of how important it is to dedicate each of my lessons to God. I’ve been teaching a workshop this week, and after the first day went really well, I thought I would write a detailed lesson plan for the second day and follow that, forgetting to pray for God’s plan for that lesson. Something about that lesson was a bit off. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. I was constantly looking around for my lesson plan, and I was relying on my own organization rather than God’s. Nothing wrong with writing a lesson plan – I do it all the time, although I usually put it in terms of objectives – but I was relying on my fancy little piece of paper rather than the wisdom of the Most High.

This isn’t the first time I’ve failed to commit a lesson to the Lord. I almost always remember because it’s become part of my routine, but sometimes I’m talking on the phone, arrive to the lesson, set up, and forget that crucial step. And I say “crucial” because it is: the lesson never turns out quite right if I don’t take it before the Lord and ask for His guidance. I am His servant as a teacher and I want that to be reflected by the highest quality of my lessons.

They say that you learn a lot as a teacher. You do. But if I could summarize one thing I’ve learned that’s most important, it’s that you do your work as a servant of the Lord and let Him work in you and through you. Don’t ever forget Who you are glorifying and working for as you teach.

As I think these thoughts, I am reminded of two verses that I have grown up hearing/reading and have only recently begun to understand. Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men . . .” Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

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