Teachers have been an integral part of my life. I can narrate much of my intellectual and spiritual development around good or bad teachers. The good ones touched and directly me deftly, opening my mind with great questions and keen observation.
My daughter is a music teach. My wife has been an art professor. My sisters-in-law live in academia. My mother-in-law taught both art and Sunday School most of her life. I love teaching Confirmation to 7th and 8th graders and Bible Study on Tuesday nights to interested adults. I seek out Westmont faculty in various disciplines when I have questions and they graciously give me their time and insight.
Life-long learning is a mindset and discipline I deeply believe in. Reading is my primary vehicle for growing and stretching my mind and heart. Recently I have been captivated by the writings of Richard Rohr and Robin Jensen. They are introducing me to new vocabulary for my more mystic side of life.
But then there are the self-appointed "teachers" who love lecturing me, instructing me, giving me advice and sometimes scolding me. Recently I have become "deaf" to some folks I know on social media whose writings morph into scolding and admonishing. They assume I am ignorant and need their enlightenment. They assume that they alone have experienced the particular social injustice of which they speak. Some like to give me pastoral pointers on preaching, leading, pastoral care and management...unsolicited.
My strategy is to adopt and early deafness and move on to those who ask good questions and know how to listen. Lord make me one of those!