One of the great things about being a teacher is that you always get a fresh start. At the end of the school year you get to “send off” your students:
- Preschool teachers send their students off to elementary school;
- Elementary teachers send them off to the next grade and eventually to middle and high school;
- High school teachers send them off to college, the military, or into the “real world.”
Teachers get satisfaction in sending off their students, not because they get rid of them (at least in most cases!), but instead because they have prepared them to take the next step in their education and in their life.
Sending Them Off … To Make a Difference
For the past three years, I have had the privilege of working alongside my colleagues at Concordia University Ann Arbor, preparing future teachers for service to Christ in the church and the world.
Why do I love what I do? Teachers, by nature, want to have an impact on others. Teaching is an act of giving. Bring to mind your favorite teacher, and it is likely a person who made a difference by giving you everything they possibly could to help you succeed.
As the Elementary Education Coordinator at Concordia University Ann Arbor, I often get questions about the quality of teachers who are coming up through the ranks. If you know anything about Generation Y, you know that they want to do work that has an impact—they want to make a difference in the world. I see this desire in the eyes of my students. I hear it in their voices. They show it when they enter classrooms to do fieldwork and student teaching.
They want to make a difference! And I get to share with them everything I have learned—my knowledge, my experience, my mistakes. I get to make a difference with them today but, more importantly, I get to send them off to make a difference with their future students.
I also get to do it all in the name of and for the sake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whose love, grace, and forgiveness are desperately needed in all our schools—Lutheran, public, charter, and private—in our country and in the world.
One day the Master Teacher will return to tell us, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine” —preschoolers, elementary students, high school students— “you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, NIV). And with that He will send us off to our eternal home.
This is why I love serving at a Lutheran university!
Photo (c) WhitneyLewisPhotography/iStock