January 1, 2022

Gregory Sampson: What Is Love?

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Blogging as Grumpy Old Teacher, Gregory Sampson responded to a tweet about the requirement for teachers to love their students.

To answer the question, GOT turned to a classic definition of love: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. (The Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, NIV translation.)

Certainly, the ideal teacher is one who is patient, kind, not easily angered, one who is not haughty and demanding obeisance from children (although good ones earn such respect.) Teachers do take pride in the accomplishments of their students, getting excited over those a-ha moments when students master a difficult skill or understand a difficult-for-them, new idea.

Teachers do report the happiness of the learning that takes place for their students, but they do not seek praise for themselves. That should not be mistaken that teachers should not be thanked; everyone deserves recognition and appreciation for the work that they do.

The lack of self-seeking does not equate to self-sacrificing. If the tweeter meant that teachers should be willing to give so much of themselves that they lose their health, sufficiency, and families, that is, if teachers are not willing to become martyrs who give all, then they should not be teachers, that is not love and those who suggest teachers should be martyrs should not themselves be among the ones doing the killing.

Do teachers love their students? They, along with schools, do keep records of wrongs known as parent contact logs when a phone call, email, or note home is sent to inform parents of misbehavior. If a series of behaviors continues to the writing of a discipline referral, those contacts must be documented showing that the teacher tried to resolve a problem before invoking an administrative consequence.

Read the full post here. And a Happy New Year.

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