I'm serving in a different role this year in education.
I have the privilege of working with teachers within all ten schools in our district.
I get to go in lots of different classrooms and be a part of many hours of after-school meetings and professional development opportunities.
As I interact with teachers, observe successful classrooms, and even spend time with students in conversations in and out of their classroom walls, I am reminded of what makes a great teacher.
Great teachers care.
Great teachers build healthy relationships with their students in spite of the multiple demands that walk side-by-side with their career choice.
When students know that teachers have more than "I can" statements on their mind when a lesson begins, they react more positively, they listen more attentively, and they learn more deeply.
I think that's what made Jesus such a great teacher.
His life goal was to pave the way for lost people to get to Heaven, but His heart goal was to show people how loved they were by His Father.
Even on the way to the cross, Jesus had compassion on people, healing them all along the way of illnesses and diseases.
Teachers have daily goals for their students; but along the way, if they can master the technique of helping students with those more "immediate" concerns/needs, they not only show students that they are at work for more than a paycheck but also that they value the student as an individual who matters.
Jesus did this every day of His earthly ministry.
He came to save mankind, but while doing so, He impacted people one person at a time.
Jesus saw each tree in the forest of life as a single important part of the landscape.
He knew each trees branch formation, struggle to thrive, and potential for growth.
In being so "in tune" with the world around Him, He was able to impact thousands as a single person in an era with no Internet, no cell phones, no means of mass communication.
I am thankful for the things I am learning this year even as I am stretched in so many different directions.
But more than anything in my life, I am thankful for a Savior who knows me personally and cares.
I think that's what we all long for in life, isn't it?
Someone who knows us and still loves us.
Great teachers know their students and love them anyway.
I had the blessing of sitting in the classrooms of many great teachers throughout my school years.
And I am thankful.
But most of all, I am thankful for Jesus, the Greatest Teacher to ever walk on this planet.
I want to learn from Him how to change the world one person at a time.
Praying your Thursday is a great one!