The Joy of Teaching

Being a teacher in the classroom and teaching theology was one of the greatest positions I held in my work experience. It’s not really a job, but a vocation. As a schoolteacher, especially in the theology classroom, you are persecuted and pushed to the limits. The one symbol that comes to mind is The Cross.

All teachers struggle with the amount of work and stress that comes with life in the classroom. Between daily lesson plans, loads of grading, difficult parents, and students that resist school, the task before you can be daunting.

When I joined the ranks of teaching years ago, a former college professor said to me, “Welcome to the galley!” What he meant was that teachers are galley slaves that are chained up, rowing the boat, and serving the ship. Think Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur.

Ben-Hur rowing

Teachers are on the front lines. They are in the trenches. Is teaching hard work? Most definitely, but it’s very rewarding as well! Teachers are there to plant seeds in the minds and hearts of their students. More than likely, you will never see the fruit from the seeds you planted.You won’t be fully appreciated by your students until years after they had you in the classroom. It is just part of the life and vocation of the classroom teacher.

I dedicate this post to all my friends out there teaching in Catholic Schools, Charter Schools and Public Schools around the country. Today, I wish to be in your shoes.

A parent sent this to the teachers a few years ago when I was working at St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School. The majority of it is the original, but for today’s posting I changed a few things to correspond with the Holy Scriptures a bit more.

Jesus teaching the Sermon on the MountThen Jesus took his disciples up the mountain, gathering them around him, he taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Blessed are the meek

Blessed are they that mourn

Blessed are the merciful

Blessed are they that thirst for justice

Blessed are you when persecuted

Blessed are you when you suffer

Be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven.

Then Simon Peter said, “Are we supposed to know this?”

And Andrew said, “Do we have to write this down?”

And James the Greater said, “Is this examinable?! I am getting mad!”

And Phillip said, “Can anything good come out of this?”

And James the Lesser said, “Is there answer guide in the library?”

And Bartholomew said, “What came after poor?”

And John said, “Do I have to write it all down? I have enough writing to do for you!”

And Simon the Zealot said, “The other disciples didn’t have to learn this!”

And Thaddeus said, “Don’t take the overhead off yet!”

And Thomas said, “I doubt we have to know any of this stuff.”

And Judas said, “I am not even going to be around for this exam. I am leaving early!”

And Matthew went to the bathroom.

One of the Pharisees who was present asked to see Jesus’ lesson plan and inquired of Jesus, “Where is your anticipatory set and your objectives in the cognitive domain?

And Jesus wept.

7 thoughts on “The Joy of Teaching

  1. Tommy,

    Thank you so much for this post. School has only been in session for a few weeks now and it has been a struggle with common core, new grade level team and an interesting group of kiddos. The post just really made my day and put some pep back into my step. I will have to share this one with my friends at school. Thanks again!

  2. Hahaha!! Homeschool mom, here. No matter how much you tell them they give glory to God every day through their educational pursuits, that it is their vocation for now, and they must love Him with all their minds, also, they still whine occasionally, just like your parody!!!

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