Dispositions of an Educator – Patience

Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Galatians 5: 22-23).

To understand more about the Fruit of the Spirit I will explain how a literal fruit develops.  Fruit is the consumable part of a plant that develops from a flower.  Flowers make wonderful gifts.  Let us imagine for a moment that the Holy Spirit gives us a flower which has the potential to develop into one of the Fruits of the Spirit.  This gift, if cultivated properly, will develop into a fruit that can then be planted to develop more flowers.   Once the fruit has reached maturity the seeds can be used to develop more flowers.  Similarly, the Fruit of the Spirit are designed to be received as a gift (flower), further developed (from a seed), and given to others to enjoy (fruit).  This process may require patience.  On the other hand, the Fruit of the Spirit are not owned by individuals nor are they static strengths possessed by individuals.

Character Focus: Patience

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote a letter to his fellow Jews about authentic patience.  In this letter James states that authentic patience is achieved through experiencing trails, waiting with hope, refusing to grumble, restraint from swearing, praying for healing, and caring for fallen believers.  According to James, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”  The farmer knows that the crop will not be its best until it is fully ripened.  The farmer has no choice but to wait.  If the crop is picked early it will not reach its full potential.  Patience will allow us and others within our lives to reach the full potential as designed by God.  (Joseph’s patience)

In Education, patience may be the solution to many of the challenges we face.  According to D’Orio (2011), patience may be the solution to some of the largest educational issues such as; “closing the achievement gap, improving teacher training and recruitment, and reducing emphasis on standardized tests.”  In education there is no such thing as a quick fix.  It is possible that we have made improvements to solve many issues and now we must exhibit patience to allow them to work.  In addition, patience may be the solution to some classroom challenges.  A study was done in India to look at effective strategies for teachers in diverse situations.  It was found that when implementing strategies teachers must have patience for them to work properly (Adair & Bhaskaran; 2010).  Similar to “The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg” by Aesop desiring to have it all without patience may lead to the loss of everything.  Teachers need to be patient to allow the Fruit of the Spirit to be ripe for the picking.

(To clarify; Patience vs. waiting and doing nothing; don’t just stop and wait.)

Dr. Nathan Herzog

Bibliography

Adair, J., & Bhaskaran, L. (2010). Practices from an Urban Preschool in Bangalore, India. YC: Young Children, 65(6), 48-55. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

D’Orio, W. (2011). Our Big Challenge. Scholastic Administrator, 10(6), 4. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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