Do you know how overwhelming it is to hear the bell ring and then to open wide your classroom door to a wave of teenagers you’ve never met?
That was my first day of teaching.
Today was glorious, now three weeks into the school year, because I feel like I’m finally starting to build rapport with my new Spanish students. Now I know some personal things about them, and they’re starting to learn some personal things about me. It is much more powerful and rich to swing wide the door to people I know and care about.
I just read an article about a substitute teacher here in our valley. He has worked at rival high schools for 15 years, and the students adore him. He tells them stories at the beginning of class and attends their sporting events, wearing a shirt split down the middle, with the rival school logos on each side.
That is the kind of teacher I want to be.
Rapport: A close and harmonious relationship in which the people concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.
As I locked up my classroom today, it hit me that God builds rapport with people.
He communicates well.
He seeks a close and harmonious relationship with us.
He understands how we feel.
We read of Jesus, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity…” (Hebrews 2:14 NIV)
A good teacher is the one who cares about you, not just the subject matter but you as a person.
God cares about more than just rules and a textbook of knowledge. There’s loved mixed into the teaching and the standard, along with a deep concern for your personal life.
Building that kind of rapport is hard work.
We should take a minute to appreciate the fact that God makes such an effort.