As the school years comes to a close, I’ve noticed the dramatic increase in frequency of videos and memes on the internet about the plight and fatigue of teachers: “Summer vacation is our reward for surviving May” – “It’s May, teach yourself” – “Stay strong, it’s almost over!” As a teacher, I regrettably remember reading these and feeling justified in the mutual understanding we all had across the building, including among students, that we are all just ready for this to be over.
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
But when we believe that every minute matters, our challenge and charge is to pour all our love out by teaching to the last minute, doubling down on creating a Christ-centered culture of joy every day, taking time to continue patiently helping students solve problems, as well as continuing to love and express empathy to students when they must face the consequences of their actions. We have the opportunity to let love overflow, sending students into the summer after hearing their teachers and leaders persistently communicate messages of “I love you,” “I’m going to miss you,” “I’ve loved learning with you,” “I will not stop loving you.”
Jesus is our model during this Easter season as we read how he relentlessly pursued the internalization of his message of love until he knew his disciples got it. They might have expected Jesus, upon his return, to lose patience, to reprimand them for hiding, to say, “Y’all, we’ve been over this! This was supposed to happen! Death has no sting here!” But Jesus approaches them in their doubt or as they are walking away from Jerusalem lamenting and confused, and in each of these personal encounters, loves to the very end.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Love is the most durable power in the world. This creative force, so beautifully exemplified in the life of our Christ, is the most potent instrument available in mankind's quest for peace and security.” So at the end of the year, when we are tired and each day can seem a bit longer than last, how will we continue to use this most potent instrument of love as we send those entrusted to our care into the summer?