A Teacher's Influence

Tags: Alaska, Canada, SEND North, Education, Exploring Missions, Story

Did you have a teacher that made a big difference in your life?  Then you know the power of a non-parental authority figure giving encouragement and value to a young life.  “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Henry Brooks Adams, a lifelong pursuer of education, may not have known how true his own words were, especially in the 60/70 Window. Teachers have a remarkable position in the lives of children and families that, if used for God’s purposes, can reap eternal rewards.

Many schools in the Far North are small and close-knit. Far North educators have the opportunity to be a major influence on students in the villages.  Not only do they provide another role model for the community kids, but they also have many opportunities outside of the classroom to pour into their student’s lives.

One of our team members has lived this directly. Serving as a teacher in two different villages, he taught in the classroom during the day and then coached a sport after the regular work day, as well as leading the local youth program with his wife. He is fulfilling a community need, but he is also taking advantage of the opportunity to bond with students and their families outside of the school environment.

This team member recognizes the need to have a safe person and a safe environment for all students. Students must feel welcomed and appreciated in the schools, and they must know that the teachers are there for them not just for the job. “They can tell right away if you care and want to be there,” he says. By investing and engaging, teachers have the chance to show students their worth and ability to pursue whatever they desire in the future.

Our team member also emphasized that he use his work to be an example to his students. He knows that teachers are held in high esteem in a village, so he strives to live uprightly.  Returning graded work on time, and following through with students is a way of showing them how to live with accountability.  Most importantly to our team member is to be the one that stays for these students, and is one that believes in them. Students can be quick to lose trust in teachers if they are leaving the community or disinterested in the students’ potential.

SEND North values the teachers that are on our team.  We support them in challenging environments first and foremost so they can be the best teachers possible and pour into their community.  We look to partner with people who have vibrant and genuine relationships with Jesus who can share their faith in caring ways.  Supporting Christians who work in remote communities is an important way we fulfill our mission to make northern disciple-makers.

Teachers often do not know the extent of their influence, who is looking up to them and who is watching, in and outside of school. There is a significant need for teachers in the villages who will care deeply for the students by providing a high-caliber education, investing in their lives as a whole, and living out a genuine faith in Jesus Christ.

Feeling interested in cultivating these bright young minds? Click here for more information on teaching in the villages and how you can be a part.  

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