I have been fortunate to have some very wonderful teachers. In second grade, I was blessed to have a teacher by the name of Jacqueline Grey. During the height of desegregation, she was the first African-American teacher to teach in a “white” school in our city.
First grade was tough for me. My teacher, whom I won’t name, was incredibly unpleasant! (I used to tell my buddies that she was a Nazi fleeing prosecution for war crimes) But, Miss Grey made second grade fun and changed my entire attitude about how fun learning really is.
Truth is, however, that the teachers who have encouraged me to be more than I had ever imagined are few and far between. I recall Chris Sanders, my high school chemistry teacher who spent more time teaching us how to think rather than what to think. I remember Marie Roberts, my high school speech teacher who encouraged me to take drama in spite of my speech difficulties (I used to stutter), and then cast me in the lead of the school play. There’s even a football coach who comes to mind, Terry Hemontolor, who tutored me in algebra and made me fall in love with math. Lastly, Floyd Parker, who opened my eyes and created in me a new love for seeking depth in the Word of God.
I have also had some really terrible teachers. A history teaher, who came into the room the very first day of class, turned out all of the lights, stood on his desk with a flashlight in his mouth, and began turning around and around in circles. After this he jumped off of the desk and asked, "What am I?" (An idiot) The answer: a lighthouse. He then walked out the door and that was the end of class!
I also had a teacher in Grad School who began every by class changing the assignments and how to turn them in to him. At one point he wanted them e-mailed to him. Next class, he wanted them e-mailed to all of our fellow students as well as him. Then he wanted them e-mailed to him, then copied and sent by priority mail to him as well. Why?
The common thread between all of my favorite teachers seems to be a love for students, real knowledge of their subject, and a consistency in their expectations. The common thread among my poor teachers is a selfish attitude and a tendency to grandstand.
When I think of Jesus as the Master Teacher, I am reminded of my favorite teachers. He came to serve, not to be served. He diverted His student's attention to the glory of the Father and accepted no glory of His own. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. How's that for consistency? He became a man, just like us. How's that for knowing His subject? His humility, insight, and expectations do not change and His love for His students will never die.
So if you are looking for direction, insight, and discipline for your life, look to the teacher who has the qualities that mark all great teachers. Jesus truly was/is the Master Teacher!