Paying Back Your Instructors


How many of your teacher’s names can you remember?

I am positively TERRIBLE with names, but I can still remember many of my teachers.

Mrs. Head, my 6th grade teacher who gave me extra attention.

Mrs. Gerling, my 8th grade English teacher who sent me to the principal’s office. (I deserved it)

Mr. Waccholz, my 10th grade biology teacher, who talked way too much about spiders for my comfort.

My education adds up to 13 years of teachers, plus college and seminary.  That must be close to 50 people who helped to teach me and guide me along the way.

Well, the scripture above talks about instructors.  It makes it sound like I owe them something.

It says I’m supposed to “share all good things” with my instructors!

Actually, on a second reading I realize we’re talking about instructors in the Word–so maybe I’m indebted not only to my school teachers, but also my Sunday School teachers!

(How many Sunday School teachers can you name?)

And not just Sunday School teachers, but also Pastors, I suppose.  Pastors did a lot to instruct me in the Word.

And parents and grandparents.  They taught me how to read and how to pray.

And there were certainly others along the way.  Yikes!

Are you telling me I’m supposed to share all the good things that have happened to me with all of these people?


Here’s what you do:  Get out your checkbook.

Whatever your bank account is right now, split it into about 60 amounts.

Can you imagine what your 11th grade physics teacher’s response would be if she opened up an envelope and there was a check inside and a note from you that said, “Thanks for instructing me”?

Actually, that would be kind of cool, but I’m not sure that’s what the passage has in mind.

I think it means celebrating that you have learned with the people who have taught you.

That you have learned.  That a connection was made.  Information retained.  Wisdom acquired.

That efforts to teach you were at least partially successful.  That the learning has been passed on, from one generation to the next.

You may not remember all your teacher’s names (I only remember about half), and you may live far from where you went to school.  Maybe enough time has passed that your teachers are long since departed.

How do we pay them back?

I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we try to share our thanks?

Let’s simply thank our teachers for teaching, and keep them in our prayers.

Not just our teachers, but all teachers.

That may not seem like much, but the simple acknowledgment that teaching is making a difference may be all most teachers ever need shared with them.

Now if you want to write them a check, that’s entirely your call.

Have a great week,


Teacher Subway Sign