Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Teacher as the Guardian and Protector of the Secret of Heaven and Earth

Why teacher holds an important role for the shaping of the next generation? Why teacher plays an extremely significant role for the development of the world? Why teacher is very influential in the formation of our children? Remember that the word teacher does not exclude anyone of which teaching is not their profession. All of us at one time function as teachers of some sort. In such broad meaning of the word teacher that we shall continue to ponder our three questions above. To project the seriousness of the questions we have in hand, I would like to propose another question for us to ponder: “Why the world as we know it cannot continue without the existence of teacher?”

If we observe a bit carefully what is happening in our surrounding, then we might have noticed that even as young as three, humans have demonstrated a remarkable teaching function. I once observed a three year old naturally tried to teach her friends on how to play a board game. In our lifetime we continue to exercise our teaching capacity, many times with no hesitation at all. Obviously, many of us, who are not shy when teaching others informally, tend to be reluctant to teach in a formal setting. Why teach? Why do we
naturally teach informally? I think the answer lies in the fact that when we teach we communicate a piece of knowledge that we own and that piece of knowledge is considered not known by those that we teach. In other words, there is a little secret that at that time one knows that the others don’t. Using educational terms, then, there is a little secret that the teacher knows that the students don’t. The three year old knew the secret of the board game while her friends did not, so she taught them the secret.

Through our little observation, it might be plausible to say that in education secrets are exchanged between all parties involved. Teacher, especially, is given a special privilege in the educational realm; because not only teacher is charged with the responsibility to communicate the secret of heaven and earth, but also teacher is responsible to communicate such secret properly. Furthermore, teacher is to draw secrets from all parties to be put on the table so all may observe carefully. In this way, teacher, though loaded with many secrets, can also learn secrets from the students as well. Teacher, being responsible of the secrets, is to be extremely careful in letting whatever secret out in the open. Not any secret is suitable for anyone, any time, any place, or any setting. If teacher just let out any secret without being sensitive to the person being taught, the time, the place, or the setting, then there is the danger of the misuse of the secret, or of the undesirable disequilibrium, or of the possible harm others might experience, or of the distortion of the secret, etc. One of the most dangerous problems in education is when the secret out in the open is not true but accepted as truth. Teacher must make sure that any secret of which he or she is in charge is true. Therefore, teacher’s role in this matter resembles the role of a guardian or a protector of the sacred.

Guarding and protecting the secret of heaven and earth is no small burden. However, even though the burden is huge, it is also sweet. Teacher is entrusted by the God of heaven and earth with its secret. I need to remind the reader again that the word teacher does not apply only to professional teachers, but also anyone functioning as teacher. Being trusted by the one true God is sweet and huge at the same time. Therefore, it is not too much to say that teacher must guard and protect the secret of heaven and earth with all their heart, their soul, their mind, and their strength. If teacher does not guard and protect the secret, then our world as we know it would be in grave danger of utter destruction, for then untruth may rule and all life will be at stake because of it. Imagine, if for example, a pediatrician misdiagnosed a child's condition due to the fact that when he was in medical school he received false truth from his teacher. If then the child died due to the misdiagnosis, isn’t that unacceptable? If half of all pediatricians in the world are like that, what would our world be? What if half of the world is ruled by untruth? But, isn’t it so true that our world as we know it cannot continue on without teacher, for teacher is the link between the secret and the learners? Ironically, we do have many teachers, but if out of the many that we have most are not guarding and protecting the secret of heaven and earth with their life, then consequently our world is in danger. Teacher’s existence is undoubtedly important, but what is more important is that the world needs a certain kind of teacher, that is the kind that will guard and protect the secret wholeheartedly. This is an extremely serious business, and without doubt the title is very appropriate: Teacher is the Guardian and Protector of the Secret of Heaven and Earth. Are you teacher ready to live up to the title given by our one true God? Are you teacher truly the guardian and protector of the secret of heaven and earth?

- The Business of Christian Education V -

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