Jan. 6, 2014
Faith is a belief in that which we cannot see. That “belief” is translated throughout much of life, from the church to government, to parenting, and of course, to teaching. We must believe every day that our work, our teaching, will pay a dividend.
But this payout we seldom can touch, except in an occasional thank-you note. Our share in the investment is simply the faith that we are doing much good, and our followers — our students — will magnify that good as they mature and leave our classrooms.
Late each summer, my dad would teach all day, and then sow the wheat fields into the night, repeating these loving acts until the crop was in the ground. His patience and faith were first affirmed nearly a month later, when the tiny rows of green fuzz poked out of the earth.
And that was all he could physically do. The remaining eight months rested on his devout patience and faith: the faith that enough will grow for the cattle to graze in winter; the patience to thank God for an inch of rain, even if He only gave us a 10th of an inch; and the faith to watch a brief hailstorm thresh each kernel of wheat to the ground, believing that his family would be OK.
This incredible patience and faith are our teaching. The only difference as teachers is that our loving acts continue well past the week needed to sow 600 acres.
Every day, we must sow again, patient to plant the exact same seed the next day, and the next, if needs be. Or take the leap to teach better than ourselves, knowing that every child can learn beyond our wildest imaginings. We must bear the faith that our efforts will see immeasurable growth, a crop that we will likely not harvest, but will for sure taste and see.
Oklahoma Teacher of the Year 2014