Americas “nobleness” – Her Teachers

Seagull Musings Column for April 18, 2004

Special Note: Each year, toward the end of the school year, this piece is respectfully published and dedicated to our areas teachers as a reminder to us all of how valuable they are to our community and the future of our nation. This year we would include a special dedication to Mrs. Lea Trimble who is retiring from the Branson School system after a teaching career spanning over 44 years. Her years of dedicated service and commitment to our community’s children epitomize the very “nobleness” of which this piece speaks.

In terms of a “profession” America’s future does not lie in the hands of Presidents, politicians, lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc. Her future lies in the hands of the profession that will be teaching those who will become the Presidents, politicians, lawyers, doctors, or accountants, America’s Teachers.

A “teacher” is “one who teaches,” a professional who has accepted the awesome challenge and responsibility of helping to prepare our children and grandchildren to fully realize their individual potential, create the desire to fulfill it, and equip them with the skills necessary to achieve it. It can truly be said that America’s destiny and future depends upon the realization and fulfillment of that potential.

Oh sure, there are those, professing to be teachers, who do the minimum and simply go through the motions. They could be characterized as those who perform the mechanical function of providing instruction from prepared lesson plans without a personal commitment to their students or accepting the responsibility and accountability for their results.They are teachers in title only.

The true “Teacher” has a personal commitment to their students. A commitment to not only teaching the necessary information and skills that their students will need but to make learning an experience they will want to continue for the rest of their lives.They fully realize and appreciate that “how” they do what they do is as important as “what” they do and dedicate their professional lives to equipping, helping, and motivating their students to recognize and reach their full potential.

To a large extent true “Teaching” is an art form. It requires the same type of dedication, commitment, and skill that a painter would use on a great canvas, a music composer would use on an opus, a lawyer on a jury, or an entertainer on an audience. What makes the successful musician, singer, comedian, painter, or author? Is it the mere application of “the mechanics” of what they are doing or their ability to communicate and relate what they are doing to their audience?

Even as the success of an artist is directly linked to their ability to relate what they are doing to their audience so too is the success of a Teacher, only more so. Although the professional entertainer wants and desires to reach every member of their audience, they can still be very successful if they reach a substantial majority of their audience.

A Teacher however, does not have that luxury. For them, success and failure is measured in the eyes, minds, and hearts of each individual student. The Master Teacher said it best. “If any man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?” He was not willing to lose even one.

The Teachers heart and spirit transcends mere “mechanics and basics” and goes to the concern and commitment of dedicating themselves to their students and their individual ability to effectively apply what is being taught. It is a task that, in a lot of cases, is made more difficult by influences outside of the Teachers direct control such as the physical or mental challenges of individual students, school funding issues, child abuse, and dysfunctional families to mention a few.Fortunately, for America and Her children, in spite of these additional challenges, there are those who feel a calling to become, in the truest sense of the word, “Teachers.”

Where then is the nobleness of Teaching? It is obvious that it is not based on factors such wealth, title, or power and yet, it is nobleness in the truest sense of the word.Nobleness based on the character, honor, generosity, dedication and commitment of those who are true Teachers and the quest they have chosen, preparing our children for the rest of their tomorrows.There’s not much that is nobler or more important than that, not much at all.

Gary Groman, a.k.a. “The Ole Seagull,” is an independent columnist and the editor of the Branson Courier. He may be reached by clicking here or by calling 417-339-4000.

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
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