Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Bad High School English Teacher!

I had a bad high school English teacher. She was demanding. She made us memorize poetry. She kept fussing at us to have more curiosity about things. She didn't take excuses. She expected us to do what she assigned. We didn't like her much!

I'm not sure what year later that it dawned on me that she was a great teacher. Her main goal was not that we like her. Her main goal was that we learn and be better off as a result of her class. A great temptation in College Ministry is to want students to like much that you don't expect a lot from them and you don't challenge them about some things. For several years I had one year Assistants or Interns. I would always caution them about the temptation to settle for being liked....instead of being respected.

One of the great pluses of being an older Campus Minister is you have realized you are passed your students thinking you are probably passed some years before you thought it did too. But, They can respect you more and more each year. And, it might not even dawn on them till sometime after college how much you meant to them.

Are you will willing to tell them things they don't want to hear? Are you willing to push them a little farther? What about when they tell you they didn't read that book they just reported? Respect is a whole lot more important than being liked. Respect lasts longer than cool....and what earns respect doesn't change like what's cool does each year.

By the way, I can still quote some of that poetry. "In this secluded space oh miracle of grace, no mortal eye but mine hath seen that face......"

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