Power of the Tongue
“1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly,” ~ James 3:1 (NABRE)
The Lord see’s our sins, see’s our reproaches, he knows your heart! We as teachers in both common education and of the education of the Lord have a sacred responsibility that influences those whom we teach in a stricter manner. Therefore, temptations to mislead are among us in every manner hiding around every corner. It takes a strong character indeed to repress the desire to put your own thoughts above those found in the Bible which have been written to guide our behaviors of a moral nature within these things I speak today. For I am deeply moved and concerned about some whom I have witnessed in my community of believers who have acted out in a grievous and spiteful manner to mislead and in doing so have done the works of Satan while claiming to do the works of God. I know this is harsh language but God demands that we admonish our brothers to help them stay straight in the ways of our God. Now many of you may be asking what was it that I heard?
In My Hearing Point 1
11 “Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?” ~ James 4:11-12 (NABRE)
What I heard were several teachers who felt they had the right to scorn our community, saying that the wheels have come off our community, that teachers are not teaching, that teachers do not communicate with each other. To this I say, many of the first year teachers I have lead try to control their classrooms with a heavy hand. They try to extend this range of control through boasting about their successes which may not be complete as a sufficient amount of time has not yet passed to have developed a baseline to prove success. Their ideas sometimes are lacking the experience of implementation or understanding in what they are trying to teach. This specific teacher is new to our community and in fact has on many occasions boasted of how they wish to change our community. Again, without the sufficient training or experience affecting positive change is simply out of range of this specific teacher’s ability to make happen. Therefore, speaking about other teachers in a very public space in the presence of a small parent population allowing everyone to hear a very scud perception of what he / she thinks is true is very troubling not to mention unprofessional as this is how rumors are started, for this action on this teacher’s behalf will, in fact, bear the fruits of gossip and more strife for everyone in the community. For it was written the Lord hates, “A false witness that utters lies and the one who sows discord among brethren.” ~ Proverbs 6:19 (NABRE)
Indeed, I say to you my brothers and sisters everyone experiences troubles in their practice, and everyone feels a certain level of frustration in their practice. But yet this teacher has gone one step further than most by making a scornful public announcement of what they think they see, while never coming to me nor others in our teaching community with these complaints. Not to mention that it was this specific teacher who blocked all my efforts to help solve many of the problems they seem to now be feeling. Not one piece of advice was taken, not one suggestion listed to, not one constructive comment from my lips did this teacher accept, and nor have they shown contrition in knowing their place among the community. This teacher’s willingness to speak in public without the permission of our Principal and or Pastor shows the desire to be more of a renegade than a team player. This bothers me greatly because you cannot have positive change come from scornful comments, nor can you have lasting change if the efforts where done in a scud manner and jealous heart. For I have seen all too often in the past teachers try to change their school without the support of the administration and every time the change the teacher wanted failed as the administration chose to let them go to find employment elsewhere.
Therefore, by not seeking, this teacher will not find, and this teacher’s words are mired in ignorance of how to truly lead. What I took the most offense to was the comment that teachers are not teaching. To this I say, turn in your lesson plans for all to see your teachings as I have, lead through doing and affect change through positive means not by blaming and not knowing of what you speak about but rather educate yourself by having an open mind and building a partnership with every teacher not just those whom you feel comfortable as I have. For I teach not by words but by my practice which is steeped within professionalism and love for all I serve. Thus, I advise once more to this specific teacher, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” ~ James 1:22 (NABRE) For I say to you my brothers and sisters I always have an open door, I will always be ready to help, to give advice that is just and moral, and I welcome this teacher to come talk with me in hopes they may see that there is a better way forward.
Once more to the second teacher whom I am very disappointed in and surprised to the depths they have sunk to speak falsely about their colleagues practice to parents without the knowledge or foresight of what their actions may bring is simply uncontainable. For to be a rumor starter, to allow jealously to overtake reason is not professional and what makes their actions worse is they are trained in peace making, they are trained in the Biblical Theology, they are currently engaged in being a Teacher Leader as I am, and know all too well the responsibilities we now have to unite our community under one flag, not divide it by petty disputes and a hardened heart. For far too often I hear this teacher condemn the community, placing themselves higher than the community, to act independently claiming a moral cause to condemn others while they in their own practice is hoity and misleading, bearing falsely about their fellow teachers whom which they have targeted and yet keep this vailed is the actions of a none Christian and are not deserving of the moral cause claimed, rather the actions of a hypocrite caught in their own hypocrisy. I return the comments I heard in church, for if they have a problem with me then do what Jesus commands them to do, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.” Matthew 18:16 (NABRE) I say to this teacher whom I have known for years – come and win me over so that I may show you a better way.
I write these things not to start controversy but to end it. To put into the light, the things which are keeping all of us from that great achievement which we aspire too. For as long as we all act with two minds that constantly countermand the other we will never become truly successful. As long as there are those in our teaching community who air private problem to the community in public spaces there will never be respect, nor the avenue made for mercy and contrition will never be apart of what we strive to be as a community.
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