Monday, December 30, 2013

God Became a Teacher

                                                      God Became a Teacher
This weekend I read the book titled God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant. This delightful book and my musings on the meaning of the Incarnation led me to imagine what it might be like if God became a teacher.

God became a teacher
Just for a week to see what it was like.
God knew that teachers often invoked His name
To request a snow day or give voice to despair and sometimes delight
To plead for patience on long afternoons before a holiday break

But mostly God became a teacher because He liked children of all ages and
He liked learning.. and wonder.. and awe
He wanted to be the kind of teacher who taught kids to notice everything that was good
And to not think they were ever too smart to learn more.

God was surprised to see all the things teachers did that have nothing to do with teaching:
Tie shoes, wipe noses. pick up trash, open lockers, solve technology issues and answer emails about bullying and the teachers' skit for the assembly.

But God tried to focus on the teaching and the learning and never ever say the words "state assessment" or "response to intervention" or "even "common core" even though it would make him sound like He was in the know about such things. He just tried to get his students to read a little longer than the day before, to edit another sentence and to realize that the Devil, his nemesis, didn't invent fractions. In fact God took the credit for that. After all, how can you understand the Trinity or unconditional love or make sure all your friends get cookies without fractions?

God took the light into the rooms of fellow teachers and patted the shoulder of the novice teacher crying and told her it was okay and that He loved her optimism. God listened to the veteran teacher bemoan "today's kids" and reminded her that one student that day had raised his hand and cited text evidence when all the time she thought he wasn't listening. God sat at the end of the crumb covered lunch table in the staff break room and beamed at the motley crew of overworked and underpaid saints who started out on this path for all the right reasons. God reminded them that whatever we do to the kids who drive us crazy, the parent that gets upset with us, a colleague who annoys us and those people somewhere who write stupid tests, we do to Him, to God. "So, love them anyway," God said.

"Keep up the good work, " said God as He ended his twenty minute lunch and headed back to the classroom. "They are right about teaching though. It isn't rocket science." God picked up his lesson plan book, a stack of papers to be graded, and three detention slips. "It's harder."

Based on the book: God got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant. Illustrated by Marla Frazee.
Beach Lane Books; New York

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