The best teachers I know have an usually large capacity for grace. To clarify, I used the term grace to convey undeserved favor. In other words, they share forgiveness and release where others would be expected to seek justice, retribution, and/or consequences. Similar to the grace shared by God in the gift of the birth of his son, Jesus, which many celebrate during the Christmas season.
Have you ever experienced grace?
Grace is what a teacher bestows on a student each day when the errors of the past are forgotten in favor of great possibilities for today. Recognizing that students will usually respond to the expectations of the teacher, this person intentionally chooses to give release to his/her students from the burden of yesterday's poor decisions. Every day is a new day! This powerful influence is well-documented in its ability to change lives and inspire greatness.
Grace is granted when a teacher forgives a co-worker for a gossiping spirit that allowed unkind words to be expressed. Emotional maturity is required to avoid the trap of dissension and un-grace in the hallways and classrooms, preferring instead a culture of unity and encouragement in the faculty culture.
Grace is given by a teacher who refuses to the see a parent through the lens of hurt feelings that resulted from an email sent in anger and mistrust. The "big picture" value of a collaborative relationship with the home enables this person to look beyond short-term setbacks to focus on the benefits to the student.
Grace isn't to be confused with setting low expectations for students or teachers, nor is it the absence of accountability for excellent behavior and results.
Grace is not abstract. It's real. It's a choice. It's in the eyes of the beholder.
Grace is irrational--it doesn't make sense, especially in a world of phobias and fanatics.
Grace isn't about your strengths or instincts or talents. It's an unqualified love that is one-way.
“Grace is free only because the giver himself has borne the cost.”
― Philip Yancey, What's So Amazing About Grace?
May your school be filled with a culture of grace in this new year. Merry CHRISTmas!