What Do I Value?

A recurring theme in my life right centers around this question: what do I value? In preparation for the summer, I have been reading academic journal articles on Education to see what they think are some of the necessary attributes for a teacher when they teach students from low S.E.S. families. The most frequently referenced attribute a teacher needs to have: a love for learning.

Not only was this referenced in articles, but it was also mentioned in an educational forum I attended last week for class. The forum speakers were Dr. Louise Cowan, one of the most brilliant literary minds and Dr. Diane Ravitch, one of the leading historians on American Education. Both of them claimed teachers’ enthusiasm in their own learning rubbed off on to their own students which enabled them to be more successful in school.

Do I disagree with these sentiments? Of course not, I think they are right on the money. But the bombardment of this solitary theme over a one week period caused me to reflect a little bit on my own life. As a future teacher, do I value my own learning? Leading up to my experiences at UD, I would say emphatically and consciously (sad to reflect upon) NO! At the present moment, though, I would say I do value learning — but I still slip into days and weeks where I don’t.

So, of course, I got down on myself a little bit knowing that I’m not where I need to be, yet. But the one thing I do know, reading about what I need to become and listening to brilliant people talk about the virtues of teaching, helped arise in me a passion to become a great teacher. This whole project of building an academic, 6-8th grade, curriculum for the summer helped fuel the desire, as well.

As I reflected upon what I value as a future educator, I also applied the question to another important area of my life — my faith.

I’m not going to lie, it is hard to live the Christian life as a college student. It is almost as if the majority of Christians who go to college end up devaluing Christ for a period of 4 or so years (including me). The shape and form of devaluing looks a little bit different for everyone: some by excess booze, some by sex, some by pride, some by selfish ambition, some by lack of love, and the list goes on forever….

For me, my devaluation of Christ probably takes the shape of an ugly, 3 headed monster of some sort, contrived from the latter three vices I placed in the above list. Fun ones, huh? Not really.

Okay, to continue on the theme…So, if a teacher is someone who loves and values learning, what is a Christian and what does he/she value?

Of course, I think learning can be apart of the definition of a Christian because God gave us the ability to use our brain and reason and think logically so the more we learn, the more we become who he wants us to be. But, I think that is more a correlation than anything else.

What is at the heart of it, then? It must be, and has to be, Love. No matter how many good deeds I do, no matter how many times I go to Atlanta to help meet the needs of Refugee families, if it is done without Love, it is just a clanging symbol. And we all know, clanging symbols are incredibly annoying. I devalue Christ because I don’t take his love seriously so it rears its ugly head in the form of a 3 headed monster. In devaluing Christ, I fail to embody the attribute that makes me most like him: Love. Similarly, a teacher who devalues the profession, fails to learn.

I think this song sums this post up nicely in that it represents the Grace God gives to us in spite of constantly devaluing him:


Daily I could look at the gold

And the fine, fine silver

With which You have adorned

My arms and neck and fingers

So I was called beauty in the eyes
These gifts assured me You were mine
So I was called beauty in the eyes

Of my God and the angels

Yet I sold all the jewels that You gave to me
And I used all the cash on other lovers I’d see
Hoping that none would discover this feat
Of the muck and the mire I’d continue to feast

Daily I could take in the scent of the fragrance You’ve sprinkled on me

And all the clothes made of cashmere You give cause’ You call me lovely

Daily I could look at how fair I was because of You

Instead I’d forget what You’ve given and living for suitors I’d choose

Still I remain treasured in the eyes

Still I remain treasured in the eyes

Still I remain treasured in the eyes

Of my God and the angels

Yet I sold all the jewels that You gave to me
And I used all the cash on other lovers I’d see
Hoping that none would discover this feat
Of the muck and the mire I’d continue to feast

Do not spare the rod how I long for faithfulness

Tell me once again of Your grace and woo me in

Let not these lovers be more attractive than You God

Remind me of love, remind of You, Jesus all of You

Still I remain treasured in the eyes


Called Beauty by Jenny & Tyler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s