I attended a seminar recently where the instructor shared the etymology of the word “educator”.
“duc” being the Greek meaning for -leader.
“e” or “ex”, translates to meaning -out of, -from.
So as christians intend to be light for the world, educators also hope to lead others from darkness. For christians, I think the definition of “light” and “dark” is made pretty clear. Being in the light is being near God. It is not the life situation or circumstance that determines the brightness or dimness, it is purely the state of one’s relationship with God.
36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Though in education the definitions of light and dark have become muddled. Is “light” simply knowledge? For the sake of humanity, I hope not! In this case I find it easier to examine the darkness in order to discover its counterpart.
I do believe educators are meant to lead people out of ignorance. For me this clearly defines darkness. Not ignorant of subject areas (history, math, science, etc.) but ignorant of life and the nature of people. A complete lack in understanding one’s self, a deformed concept of community and relationships.
Therefore leading students from darkness is exploring the intricacies of life. The warmth of the light pours over us as we discover the value of all things around us. Seeking understanding of human systems while finding the flaws of the human heart.
I suppose in faith and in education, the idea of light and dark is quite similar. The enemy’s tactics remain constant: isolate and disconnect the object. I pray no student finds darkness in my classroom.
Be Light: Desire to know each student and be genuinely persistent.
Peace in seeking!