As I write, I’m attending the 2018 North American Division (NAD) Teachers’ Convention in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Held every six years and organized by the NAD Office of Education, the event is an opportunity for some 6,000 Adventist teachers — through keynote meetings and hundreds of breakout sessions — to network, learn, grow, and gain tools and resources to help them to become more effective educators.
For those who interact daily with young people in one- and two-room schools in more remote regions of the division, it is especially gratifying to connect with colleagues who share similar struggles and successes and know they are not alone in their challenges.
I’m here helping at the Adventist Review Ministries booth but also with the main event registration. A snafu with a lost box of printed name labels needed for registering the participants left us scrambling for “creative” ways to solve the issue and caused some backup and confusion at the NAD registration desk.
I was prepared for criticism from weary, frustrated travelers who wanted only to “sign in” and get their name badges. Contrary to the usual reaction to such situations, however, I experienced none of that. Their patience, courtesy, and willingness to “flow” with the situation struck me as exemplary and helped me realize that even we adults can still learn from teachers.
Here are six lessons I came away with:
Few jobs hold more value and importance than that of teaching. Teachers both within our parochial system and without have a strong and profound influence on our most precious possession — our children. In Adventist schools, we entrust them not only with their education but also their spiritual guidance.
So let’s not neglect to express appreciation to teachers for what they do and the difference they make in young lives — and let us adults continue to learn from them as well.