Making the Teacher Happy
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Luke 2:52
It makes sense to me. Want good grades? Want to not earn demerits? Want to not be punished by your parents for wrong doing while at school? Then make it a goal to “make the teacher happy.”
Don’t get this wrong. Just about every week, the news tells us about impropriety and immorality between a teacher and student. That is not how to make the teacher happy. Making the teacher happy in the sense of gaining their favor in the classroom is something that should be expected. Earning the esteem and admiration of the teacher should be like “second nature” to a student.
Here are some ideas to gain the favor of the teacher, earn good grades, and to become a more complete boy or girl for Jesus. Parents, these are expectations you should have for your son/daughter.
- Work on your attitude. A student with a good attitude can do anything and become anyone that God wants him to be. A student with a rotten attitude will not be able to achieve all God wants – because of the bad attitude. As a parent, this is the most important area to work on. If an attitude is demanding, selfish, reluctant, pushy, sarcastic, or manipulative, then the student is heading for a disastrous life unless there is an intervention. Parents, work together with the teacher to remedy the attitude. Rules do not make a bad attitude – a rebellious heart makes a bad attitude. Attitude is a choice of the heart – not the circumstances. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” And Jesus said in Matthew 15:18, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” The attitude, good or bad, is a reflection of the heart.
- Know the score. Each student should know what is expected in each class. Jr High and Sr High school students rotate between classes and teachers and there will be variations of expectations in each class. The student should learn each nuance and expectation and adjust accordingly. If the student does not know what is expected, he should ask for clarification. For example: One teacher may want the student to sit more straight in the chair, while another teacher looks for the students name to be printed on the top right (instead of to the left) of an assignment.
- Think before you speak. The classroom interaction should remain positive and encouraging. When a teacher corrects a child, it is not the same thing as disciplining a child. For example: a student is disrupting the class and talking out of turn. When the teacher says: “Stop talking” – she has offered correction – not punishment. The embarrassment of being called out may impact the student, but no discipline has happened. If the student talks back by giving an excuse for disobeying the rules, then he should be punished for acting and speaking the rebellion in his heart. Demerits and detention are examples of punishment. When correction is noted and told the parent and when actually discipline talks place in school, I believe it is best that the parents follows up with their own personal discipline and punishment at home. Students misbehaving at school are a reflection of the parenting, or lack of parenting in the home. Parents are advised to train their children to “think before they speak.”
- Respect everyone. A student does not have to understand a rule, just agree to live by it. Institutional rules are not intended to be morally right or wrong, but to give order and structure to the organization. Disobeying a rule is morally wrong, even when the rule has no moral bearing. A majority of rules in a school have to do with respecting other people. In this era of education, most people are focused on individual rights. Surprisingly, some Christians have also adopted this humanistic philosophy. The Bible and traditional education is more focused on the rights of others. For example, an clothing outfit that is distracting to others is ruled against in order to not interfere with the learning of the other students. Another example – talking and disrupting class with sarcastic remarks is not allowed so that other students are able to focus on their studies. Teach your student to be considerate of others when he comes to the classroom.
- Expect more. Many parents allow their child to talk back, complain until the parent changes his mind, and even manipulate the decisions of the parents with emotional instability, constant nagging, and a persistent bad attitude. I encourage you to expect more and demand less. Expect more of a submissive attitude and demand less negative talking. When complaining starts – stop it. When a sour expression glosses over the face – stop it. Expect more. When teachers and others in authority inform there is a problem – get to the root of the problem – the heart. Defending a student, making up excuses, or taking sides will not help develop the heart of the student for the Lord. Dross is never removed from the gold until the heat is applied. Just like gold, a student will not be worth much in life if all the dross and impurities of a bad attitude and selfish life are removed. It is ultimately the student’s choice, but a parent, like the goldsmith, can make a big difference.
- Honor God. Each student wanting to honor the Lord willingly submits to the authority and the education the Lord has called him to. While a student may not have a “paying” job, the Lord has called each student to the “full time job” of learning. It is hard work to focus, pay attention to detail, write papers, and study for tests. Being a student is a “Calling” with lifelong implications and dividends. If a student does not develop good study habits, personal disciplining relationships with authority and peers, and make decisions that honor God while in his youth – it is much harder to learn it later in life. Thank the Lord for many who have been saved, or saved people who have been restored to fellowship later in life. But think of the years wasted, the relationships ruined, and the witness for Christ diminished during that time. Help your student to honor God today.
By the Way: The Jewish boys would become a “son of the commandment” at age 13. In the years before age 13, the parents would do all they could to help the boy mature and develop into a respectable and responsible young man. That is the context of Jesus “increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Mary and Joseph taught their boys before age 13 to put God first in their lives. Parents, you do not have much time to help your student learn to “Be” and to “Do” right.
Learn to make your teacher happy. It will cause your educational years to be both enjoyable and productive.