In the play “A Man for All Seasons” the character of Thomas More encourages Richard Rich to forgo political life for the life of teaching. One of the dialogues in the play summarizes the glory of teaching and for anyone contemplating becoming a teacher, it is well worth reading the play and taking it to heart.
Teaching not only contains glory, but also enormous powers. To teach is to become immersed in ideas that are often at the heart of improving life and lives. Thanks to teachers inspiring students, we enjoy progress at its best. Who would have thought that we could fly coast to coast in a matter of hours? If a teacher had not planted the thought of this possibility, this may not have happened.
Today’s students are designing better means of conserving energy. This is happening because of the inquisitive spirit teachers plant in their students’ minds.
In addition to contributing to material progress, another benefit of teaching is helping us cope with life’s growing complexities. It is ever so easy to become disillusioned and depressed. Thanks to the wise lessons teachers have passed onto us, many of us are able to successfully think through our problems.
Morality is and always has been difficult to sustain. And yet, many of us are sustaining it and enjoying the peace of mind it creates thanks to our religious education. Teachers not only have power to create the above for others, but by the nature of their work, they are forever empowering themselves.
In his book, “The Idea of a University,” Cardinal John Henry Newman writes that an idea is an illumination. Teachers work with ideas that in turn generate light. When there is light, there is also life. No matter how old we get, ideas are one of our best means for maintaining a youthful disposition. The beauty of being a teacher is mingling in the world of illuminating ideas continuously.
It is no exaggeration to say that the toughest problems we experience today can be traced back to understanding. Understanding broadens and deepens our vision. The better we see, the less chance we stand of misunderstanding another person, and we have a greater possibility of unraveling our problems. In others words, the better we are taught, the better we can understand and get through life.
Another thing about teaching: Your students become part of a family for the rest of your life. Become a teacher if you think God is calling you to this noble profession.
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