A Teacher’s Labour

I have been a JW teacher for many years. Every Teacher’s Day, I will receive flowers and cards. One card stood out for me as I prepare to write this article. It was from a mother of a little girl whom I taught many years ago in the children ministry. She thanked me for my labour of love and patience. What is this labour of love?

I love children but it is quite trying to control a group of children who think that everything they say is of utmost importance and warrant your sole attention. On top of this, there is the occasional rudeness, disobedience, unkind words and actions. It is tempting sometimes for my comfort and convenience to ignore these restless children and just concentrate on the “goody, goody” ones. Yet, disciplining a child with grace is as much a lesson in itself as the lesson I have prepared. Therefore, I labour in prayers and commit each child by name to God and trust Him to bring about a change of heart and behaviour in His time.

What is even more onerous is the task of explaining scriptural truths to a preschooler or primary school child. How does one explain to a child his sin and his need to be saved? Though there are resources to aid us, we have to have enough engaging activities to hold their attention and at the same time deliver God’s truth. I depend on the Holy Spirit to understand the scripture passage and the heart of God (Psalm 119:12] “....Teach me your decrees” that God will be my teacher and He will help me learn what is required of His people. I constantly pray that God gives me creativity to teach hard truths in simple terms. I like how one sister taught her class the passage on the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). She had two glasses; one filled with “dirty” water and one with clean water. She then challenged them to drink the “dirty” water (which is actually drinkable) to teach that God searches our hearts and examines our minds (Jeremiah 17:70). We give due diligence to our preparation and trust God to plant seeds of truth through His authoritative words, instead of indulging our own whims and fancies.

All labour’s not lost. I was most bemused when I asked my primary one class what they wanted to be when they grow up. I had answers like Pilot, Teacher, Scientist but one child wrote “I want to know you (God) better”.

Indeed God is not known through one lesson. Let us, as God’s workman, plod alongside every child to satisfy his spiritual hunger. Happy labouring! (Oops, it is Teachers’ Day isn’t it).

Mrs. Peng Seok Hoon