As I sit in front of the fire relaxing with presents wrapped, Chex mix baking in the oven and homemade chilli on the stove, I reflect on the profession that I and so many other educators love with a deep abiding and passionate love.
I consider myself and these educators expert gift givers. Time and time again we provide for our students, their parents and the community the perfect gift… much like the gift that was given to us thousands of years ago on the first Christmas.
How does one determine the perfect gift? Well, it was keenly captured in a message delivered by the Haslet Fellowship of the Parks Pastor, Chuck Macheca, this past Sunday. There are three things that make a gift THE perfect gift.
First, the gift is sacrificial.
There isn’t an educator out there that has not given sacrificially. I have seen fellow colleagues take from their own pantries to feed others, when they barely could feed their own families. I have witnessed the generosity of teachers as they gave of their own time to volunteer for community outreach after spending countless hours at school volunteering for extra-curricular clubs and programs. Of course, many are aware of the many times school supplies and items to teach lessons that engage students resulted in purchases from an educator’s own pocket.
Second, the gift is going above and beyond.
Educators are also known for this. There isn’t a campus in my district where this is not evident this time of year. Educators are not just generous to their students and go above and beyond with them, but they are equally kind to their colleagues. Finding their teammate the perfect colored pen, or baking the counselor’s favorite homemade bread. Educators are so busy this time of year with all of the festivities, but they seem to never forget or extend good will to others and make the time to do so.
Finally, the gift should honor the recipient uniquely.
What greater gift does an educator provide to their students than to provide an individual and unique experience that fosters a life long passion for learning? Every day of the 180 day school experience educators purposefully plan, deliver and target their instruction. They identify areas of need via progress monitoring, formative assessments and scaffold instruction to best meet the needs of every student that walks into their classroom, joins them through live video feed or connects through online courses.
So as I sit here warmed by the fire, it also warms my hear to know that I am part of the greatest profession on earth that daily, not just at Christmas time, provides a most perfect gift to their students, parents and other educators. An act that was perfectly modeled to us 2000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem.