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From the March 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal

A TRUE EDUCATOR HAS A LOT TO TEACH. Not just in the classroom — which provides the obvious outlet — but more particularly to those of us who have long since hung up our book bags and turned in our locker keys. If we're wise enough to observe, we, too, can learn life lessons from able instructors.

An exceptional school teacher mostly defies description, but, to me, a simple story says it all. A family member of mine is one of those teachers that former students come back to thank 25 years later for the impact she has had on their lives. Recently, a student had performed badly in her class but didn't seem to care. My relative told him that she knows he is brilliant, but that he wasn't proving it to her just then. The boy cleaned up his act and showed her what he had possessed all along. The educator didn't resort to punishment, but acknowledged the child's capabilities and expected him to rise to them. He didn't disappoint.

This family member is a student of Christian Science and, as such, understands that the innate spiritual substance of every child is directly derived from an infinite source, God. The qualities of thought that constitute one's substance sometimes appear obfuscated by unruly personality traits, overwhelming challenges, or a lack of willingness to utilize talents. The resulting distorted view of man — produced by animal magnetism, or the would be activity of evil — works like a mirror in a fun house. While the original remains perfect, the reflection comes out looking warped. Correcting the distortion requires looking beyond the mirror or filter to the original man. Both the insightful teacher and the Christian Scientist recognize that uncontaminated qualities are inherent in every child of God, no matter what age — and therefore seek to draw them out.

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