Compassion in the Classroom
The most crucial ingredient missing in our schools today is compassion. If we are not careful we get so busy with the routine of teaching that we neglect our real purpose—ministering to our students! I don’t believe any teacher does it intentionally, but our focus shifts from our students to our teaching style, tests, and preferences. I am a huge proponent of personal growth but not at the expense of our students. Here are a few examples we can glean from the life of Christ to improve our compassion toward people.
Jesus never lost sight of His true purpose, the cross, but He lived His life for people. Matthew 20:30-34 gives the account of the two blind men that plead to Jesus to restore their sight. While the multitude rebuked the blind men, Jesus had compassion on them and gave them their sight. Their ranting and screaming annoyed the multitude but Jesus had compassion on them and saw their real need. When students are acting out in class or at school, “rebuking” them is the natural reaction but not always the right one. Have you ever wondered why they act out? Is there a need that you are not seeing? Are you compassionate when dealing with negative situations? I’m not condoning misbehavior but take the time to understand your student.
In another example, Jesus noticed the widow at the gates of Nain as she followed behind the coffin of her only son. She had lost everything but Jesus raised her son from the dead. Jesus could have continued on His journey but He had compassion on her and chose to take the time to change her life for the better. Do we take time for people? I know you are busy, but taking that extra moment can make a difference in that person’s life even if it is just a smile, kind word, or note. Don’t let the business of our day interfere with our students.
Lastly, as Jesus looked upon the multitudes He was compassionate for their spiritual and physical needs. They were weary, discouraged, and in need of a Shepherd. Our students will always have needs. As they get older, they begin to take on more responsibility. Many times, they do not manage their time well or find themselves overcommitting. We are annoyed that they may sleep in class or that they continue to act half their age, but those are the times that they need you to shepherd them the most. Being a teacher goes beyond the lecture and the books; it is a life calling. Don’t abandon your purpose to teach your students, but have compassion and see their needs.
And of some have compassion, making a difference: