Teaching always gives me a chance to see my students as God sees me. While I am not as great a teacher as He is, there is a parallel. The Teacher instructs, gives directions, and assists. The students apply what they have learned.
What I’m realizing more and more is that sometimes students forget. Like God, I expect for my students to hold on to every rule in math, every formula, every procedure. Like me, sometimes they forget. Unlike God, I get frustrated and angry when my students are unable to recollect the proper way to multiply fractions and whole numbers or the correct method for turning a mixed number into an improper fraction.
Just today, I gave my students and exploratory assignment on a skill they had not been taught. It was my way of seeing if they would draw from their arsenal of math knowledge. Things didn’t go the way I had planned.
As I was observing the class, a few students raised their hands. “This is an independent assignment.” I warned.
I walked around and saw that most of the students, working ever so diligently, were getting the answers wrong. One student in particular kept raising his hand. “I don’t get it,” he whined.
(Now, as a teacher, comments about not “getting it” send me through the roof.)
“You don’t know how to do this type of problem? I taught this during the first marking period,” I replied, in my firmest teacher voice.
He began to get frustrated and said, “You’re the teacher, you’re supposed to help me.” (How many times have you had this conversation with God?)
Immediately, I kinda sorta knew how God felt when His students failed to recall lessons that He had taught. I smiled to myself and said, “I hear you, God.”
This was my reminder of Hebrews 2:1
1 So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.
I reminded the students of one of the important skills needed to solve the problem, and immediately I saw their lightbulbs go off.
In the end, I learned the lesson. Students aren’t perfect. Even my highest achieving students will not always get the answers right. It is a reminder to me that even when I get life answers wrong, God is always there to reteach. Just another example of His grace and mercy.
Take some time today to try to see things through His eyes.