Saturday, January 27, 2007

Now that I are a teacher...

If you had told me in high school that I would eventually end up being a teacher, I would have laughed in your face. I wasn't the best of students. In fact I was a pretty poor one. It wasn't that I didn't have the potential, I just didn't have the motivation. I squeaked by in most of my classes with a C or less. A few F's here and there, not enough to fail the course, but it surely didn't help my GPA.

College was a bit different, but again I wasn't greatly motivated at first. It was just more school. Predictably, my grades weren't that spectacular. I did feel somewhat guilty about it since my parents were paying the tuition, and I eventually dropped out of school rather than waste their money.

When I returned to school several years later it was at my own expense, so I had some motivation for good grades, plus I was taking mostly classes that were of great interest to me. Not surprisingly, my GPA came up dramatically.

Now that I'm a teacher, those years of being a slacker are coming back to haunt me. I've discovered that motivating students to learn, to take an interest in what I''m trying to teach, is a real challenge. What works for one student doesn't work for others. And some students just don't respond to anything. I'm starting to realize how many of my teachers over all of those years must have felt. If you care about teaching, you care about your students, and you care about how well they are doing. If the student doesn't care, it doesn't still care. It's hard to see a student continue to get poor grades when you've done all you can think of to motivate them.

I suppose that's sort of how God feels when He sees how we sometimes act. After everything He's done for us, all of the teaching His Son did, all of the Scriptures He has given us...we still don't seem to get it right. Will we ever learn? Most of us probably won't. Everything in this life is sort of like a series of labs, pop quizzes, and exams over the things Jesus taught. And you know what? There's a final exam...will you pass it? I suppose a lot of it depends on how motivated you were.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Well another month has passed without any comments from me...guess it's time to say something else.

I switched to the new version of Blogger and lost all of my customized design stuff here, so I suppose I'll spend a little time soon restoring some of the things that were lost if possible. I put off making the switch for a while after the new version was announced, mainly because I'm a person that resists change. I'm set in my ways, I don't like to move out of my comfort zone. If it ain't busted, don't mess with it. Unfortunately I'm one of the administrators of our church blog, and for that blog to move on to the new version I had to upgrade. So I've been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new blogger universe.

I'm like that with a lot of things in life. I tend to go with the flow. Don't get excited, just sit back and see what happens next. If pushed, I'll make adjustments, but I don't really like to go out on those limbs. I think the reason for my conservative "don't take chances" approach to life is because I've had too many limbs sawed off behind me. I like to play it safe.

In some ways it's nice to be that way...things tend to be stable. I like stability. Stability is easy to deal with. Change is difficult. Change means I have to work towards making things stable again. Don't rock my boat, I don't like it.

Yet change is inevitable. Nothing remains the same forever. New jobs, new situations, people come and go, eventually everything in life changes in some way. Sometimes it's gradual and we hardly notice it. That's nice. Gradual change is a lot easier to deal with than radical things like changing jobs, sudden illness, etc. I can deal with most things like that, but it's not pleasant. It makes me nervous and upset.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post, I don't have a scripture quote or some sort of parable to go along with it. No real profound philosophical revelation...just a crotchety old man rambling on about nothing important.

Maybe next time I'll have something more enlightening to say.