In Praise of Teachers

Recently an elderly lady donated old Sunday School material to our Church. This lady has only been attending our Church for a little while now, but has been a part of The Church as a whole almost all of her life. She moved to Homer in 1951 and apparently began serving as a Sunday School teacher not too long after. Now she struggles to get around and a nice woman in our Church drives her to worship with us each week.

A couple of weeks ago she asked about donating some old Sunday School material to the Church. I told her it would be great and I made arrangements for her to call me when it was ready to pick up. About two weeks later she finally gave me a call and this last Sunday my son and I went to pick it up. Honestly I was expecting a couple of boxes of old “purchased” lesson material from David Cook or Gospel Light publishing. We arrived to find 7 boxes of materials and 2 medium-sized trash bags full.

For the last three days I have been going through the material. Much of it was craft material. She had construction paper, stencil, glitter, glue, etc. Two or three of the boxes of material simply went straight into our supply boxes. A couple of the boxes contained file after file of magazine pictures. Through the years she had taken magazines and cut out pictures and filed them under: Adult Men, Easter, Christmas, Animals and a few other titles. Apparently she took these files and when she taught a lesson. For example, when she taught on Noah’s ark she took out the animal file. When she taught about Father’s Day she took out the appropriate file. One file of pictures for every Bible story, holiday and craft project you can imagine.

As I went through the files I found a few useful items, but most of it was just very dated magazine pictures. Honestly, it was not much more than trash to me. (Although I did laugh at some of the styles and haircuts in the pictures) But this project had me thinking of two things.

1. I am impressed by how much time and effort was put into making these files. These boxes represented hours and hours of work and prep time for the classes she taught.

2. Did any of her students know how much effort she put into the classes she taught? I imagine that most of them had no idea that she had spent hours gathering material so she could be prepared for any lesson on any day at any time.

All of this has me thinking about the teachers in my Church and the effort that they put in each week. It also has me thinking about all the teachers I have known though the Churches I have served. Finally it has me thinking about those people who taught me. I have no idea how many hours were spent on lessons that influenced me and the people around me.

So today I want to praise all of you out there who teach children’s classes so selflessly. Thank your for your hard work and many hours of service for a group of kids who probably do not appreciate it enough. Thank you for spending time getting everything ready so that others can learn. I, for one, am glad you serve. I just hope I don’t ever have to go through your files one day:-)


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