Being a Philippians 2 Teacher
One of our best back-to-school inservice sessions was our time with Sherry Pogue (I got you on that one— you thought I was going to say the session when we went over the handbook!). The idea of being a Philippians 2 teacher really stuck with me, and this past week, I was reminded of the session when our Sunday morning class spent time studying Philippians from a parenting perspective.
During our Sunday morning discussion, my friend Eric shared a brilliant idea with the class to help better understand the verse, and afterwards, he and I sketched it out.
I’m still wrestling with this idea and I’d love to get your feedback, but right now it makes sense because I think back to some of the best teachers and coaches I’ve ever head— Mrs. Barber, Coach V, Mr. Harris.
Mrs. Barber, my high school English teacher, was sacrificial and humble (and diminutive in nature), but she wasn’t weak. She could have allowed her quiet nature and willingness to go the extra mile to be taken advantage of, but instead, she held us all accountable and had the highest expectations in her classes (powerful). She was fair and consistent (even when it hurt), and it was evident from day one that she was willing to do whatever it took (sacrificial) for each of us to succeed. Mrs. Barber imitated Christ.
Coach V, my football coach, was powerful (247-74-3 record; 28th all-time winningest football coach in Ohio) and sacrificial (taught various subjects while serving as AD and coach; served as an elder at my church), but he wasn’t manipulative. He could have easily reminded us of his successes or, if we messed up, he could have easily made us feel guilty because of all the time he invested in us; instead, he remained humble. He constantly lifted others up, deflected praise to his assistant coaches and players, and was quick to listen, slow to speak. Coach V imitated Christ.
Mr. Harris, my high school US History teacher and assistant football coach, was a big man (powerful) but quiet in nature (humble). He was a great story teller, was really good at explaining things, and he was a great coach. But that’s not what makes him memorable. What makes him memorable is his sacrificial spirit. Mr. Harris loved us— so much, he commuted an hour each day. He had been offered other job opportunities close to his home, but he loved our school and he loved us, so he kept making the drive each year. We knew Mr. Harris loved us (he often told us).
It’s been 17 years since I graduated, but I remember exactly how each of these teachers impacted my life and how they made me feel. I bet you could think of teachers in your life who made a similar impact.
Thinking about these teachers from a Philippians 2 perspective helps me view each of them in a new light, and I hope my former students view me in that same light. I hope our students this year do, too.