I retired from teaching two years ago. I still know many of the teachers at my former school. And I occasionally see some of them in and about town at various meetings, grocery stores, restaurants and the like. Without exception, they have all told me that I left none too soon. Now I understand that teachers can be a complaining lot and that, by virtue of what they do, they almost always think they are in the right. Doctors, lawyers, and politicians probably think the same thing. But between “political correctness” and “New Math” and new evaluation tools, both for students and teachers, I really don’t know how teachers actually find the time to teach with all the pre-planning, documentation and grading that they have to do.
Apparently the old ways of learning were not adequate and we are told that children learn differently now. Tell that to the geniuses and philosophers who learned the old way. But to use the teaching profession as a microcosm of our nation (and the world) at large, it seems we are always searching for a better way to do something. Now there’s nothing wrong with the search itself. But, all too often people simply pick up on the latest buzz word (And how many times is the “new” idea simply an old idea with a fancy-sounding name?) that some official starts pushing. Then the various “powers that be” want us all to jump on the bandwagon.
Clothing fashion is a great example of re-circulated ideas. Skirt lengths go up one year. Three years later, they go back down. Prints shouldn’t be worn with other different prints. What used to be in bad taste is now embraced by enough people to make it acceptable. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new (Ecclesiastes 1:8-10).
What we are hearing and what many are saying is nothing more than sesquipedalian bushwa (long-worded nonsense). We keep trying to make things more complicated instead of less. When dealing with what God says through His Word, simple reason dictates, “if the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.” Since salvation is available to all, including children, is it any surprise that Paul wrote, Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful (1 Corinthians 1:26-27)
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3). If you have itching ears, apply the balm of Gilead (spoken of in Jeremiah) to soothe and heal them. And if you suffer from “hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia” (fear of long words), don’t worry. God wasn’t trying to impress anyone when he gave us His Word. He just wants to communicate with us.