During Stuart’s sermon on Sunday, he shared a Four-fold blessing. One of those blessings said, “May God bless you with foolishness; enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world.”
This is the kind of foolishness I tend to equate with first-year teachers. You know the ones who believe that they will inspire their students, topple corrupt and unfair practices, and fight for their students’ education and well-being. In college I minored in secondary education. One of the classes I took for that minor focused on the ways that teachers and education were portrayed in the media. When it was all said and done there were two predominate stereotypes of teachers. The first was the teacher as apathetic and detached. They were completely disconnected and ignorant of the world and the students could easily outsmart them and take over the class. The second was the teacher as the superhero. We watched clips from Dead Poet’s Society, To Sir, With Love, Stand and Deliver, and many more. These are all wonderful movies, but probably not the most accurate representation of our futures as educators. Yet, the professor surprised us all one day by saying, “I know you all think I am going to tell you it is a waste of time to strive to be like these ‘superheroes’, but I will not. It is my honest hope that each and every one of you works to be a Mr. Keating, but I will tell you this; it is not going to be easy. It is not that these ‘superheroes’ are complete fantasy, because you can inspire children and you can affect change, it just takes longer than a 90 minute film suggests.” She was right of course. It would be much easier to be an average teacher, but fools who work hard and pour their hearts into their students might just make a difference.
This blessing of foolishness reminded me of Paul’s words to the Corinthians.
I pray that I might remember to be a fool.