This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and there will be many expressions of appreciation to each faculty member during this time from parents and students. There will be gifts and cards given to express love and appreciation, as well as many other expressions of gratitude. I know that our parents and students really do care about each of our teachers and I hope their expression of love is an encouragement to all our faculty.
I regularly receive messages from parents whose children have been particularly blessed by teachers at FCS. The following message from a parent is just one example of the blessing our dedicated teachers are to the families we serve. She said, “God truthfully answered my prayers and that is why I felt the need to share with you my son’s experience. Florida Christian has not only helped him build character as a good Christian boy, but the school has assisted him to meet his maximum potential educationally. I will mention those that I have worked personally with that have touched my son’s life but I know there are many more that he comes in contact that have made his experience great at Florida Christian. From the basketball coach that worked with him during aftercare, mind lab teacher, PE teacher, music teacher, aftercare personnel, and I can go on and on. I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am with his classroom teacher. She has not only shown dedication in the class but actually took it upon herself to attend my son’s black belt testing. She encouraged my son to be a better person and his self esteem is at his highest.. To keep it short. I must imagine you have been told numerous times of success stories in your school and mine might be just another, but I want you to know that your school is a blessing on for me and my son on this earth. Florida Christian has helped an child succeed in the world and feel accepted, and it is a blessing.”
In the middle of this world’s conflicting messages about how to live, Christian school teachers stand alongside parents in helping children know how to experience life in the fullest way possible. They do this by godly example as well explicit teaching. They exhibit love for their students and pour their lives into the children who enter their classrooms. Not unlike our own family there are challenges and difficulties along the way, but in the end the relationships built between teacher and student will impact our students for a lifetime.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to have received such example and such teaching in our youth, still had to choose to follow that teaching and example. Our students are no different, they have to make the choice as well. Proverbs 3:1-4 says, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
Our students grow into young adults who often long to rely only on their own limited experience to choose a path to follow. They easily can forget or neglect what they are taught. I am grateful that our faithful teachers, aware of this tendency, patiently instruct and remind students to make commitments to keep the teachings and Biblical commands they have learned. How satisfying it is when one of our former students returns and confirms to us that they heeded our instruction during their time with us and give testimony that they are living for the Lord and even seeking to raise their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is further evidenced by those former students who now bring their own children back to FCS to sit under the same instruction they received themselves. In Philippians 3:15-17 Paul says, “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already obtained. Join with others in following my example, brothers and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.” Let our goal as parents and teachers be nothing less than to be able to say to our children, follow my example.
I trust this will be a great week of honoring our teachers. We are blessed that each one is serving the Lord at FCS and modeling their walk with God to our students. We thank our parents for entrusting their children to us for another school year, and we promise our continued devotion to loving our students and raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.