As it was recently Valentine’s Day, I wanted to speak about love from a teaching perspective. One thing I’ve realized is that we are all teachers no matter where we are or what we do. It’s not just a profession, it’s part of who we are. Real teaching is always through example. We cannot avoid being an example because an example is all about actions, and we are always acting.
Love is the center of all good teaching. People can lecture, debate, and demonstrate, but without love teaching is dull and leaves no lasting influence. Plus, if a teacher is not filled with love, they wouldn’t be very motivated to teach or be a good example anyway. I think we have all had at least one teacher who we felt like didn’t care about us, and it made us dread the class and look forward to when it was over. If a teacher does have love, however, they can make a significant impact. President Monson said “If [a teacher] loves her students and has high expectations of them, their self-confidence will grow, their capabilities will develop, and their future will be assured” (“Only a Teacher,” Ensign Jan. 1990).
So if we are all teachers, and love is the center of teaching, it’s no wonder that we are all commanded to “love one another.” It is only through really loving people that we can touch them deeply enough to cause them to act and become better. When is the last time that something someone said or did really touched you deeply? Enough to cause you to change yourself? I would bet that this person did not seem arrogant, cold, or uninterested in you. Rather, they probably had some sort of care or warmth in them that touched you.
To me, this shows how when we are formally teachers, we need to make sure love is our number one priority and motivation. We have all had those teachers who inspired us and made us feel better, and it probably stemmed from knowing that they cared about us. I’m sure there will be much to distract us as we take care of details and deal with students who are misbehaving. But it is the only real way that we can make a difference for our students.