I had zero confidence as a young man. I mistakenly thought I had to always be dating someone, when what I really needed to do was work on myself.
When the girl I was dating would break up with me, I always wanted to know why. I should have just let them go, but I always pushed the issue.
“Why are you breaking up with me?” I would ask.
The answer was usually “You’re boring.”
This comment hurt so much! I know now I shouldn’t have let it hurt me, but I did. This bothered me all the way to my early 40s? By then I had acquired some wisdom, knowledge, and experience – and my confidence was much improved.
When girls would tell me I was boring, what they really meant was, “You don’t have all the drama surrounding you that other guys have.” These “non-boring” guys seemed to lead girls around by a string, toying with their emotions and feelings and not caring if they caused pain. It was all about how they – the boy – felt.
At age 40, I decided that I liked boring.
Don’t get me wrong. I in no way think that I am boring.
But if these are the definitions of boring…
- Remain faithful to my wife of 35+ years
- Stick with a job I don’t necessarily like at times because my family needs the income
- Stick to my commitments
- Do what’s best for my family above myself
- Serve others with humility
…then count me in as boring! Many of those “exciting” boys from high school have left broken families in their wake of pursuing what they want.
THANK GOD I’M BORING!
Some of my teachers played a big role in my life. A great ancient Hebrew named James had this to say about teaching…
“Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards.”
Here are some good and not so good teachers in my life.
- My Kindergarten teachers were outstanding, kind, compassionate and made me feel welcome. I remember crying on my first day of school, but after that I couldn’t wait to get there. I wish I could remember their names.
- My second grade teacher was Mrs. Everitt. She took me on as a project and cared for me and my family. She taught me and loved me.
- My fourth grade class was overcrowded, so they moved several of us students into the 5th grade class. Ms. Gandy held us to high standards academically and behaviorally. She is in her 70s and STILL making a difference in the world.
- I did not like my first fifth grade teacher. She seemed to hate children. That was probably not the case, but it sure felt like it to me. Fortunately I moved away after two months of fifth grade and ended up with the most wonderful fifth grade teacher.
- In seventh grade, I had another of those teachers who seemed to hate kids. We would often mis-pronounce her name on purpose and made it sound like it Miss Screwed Up.
- My first band teacher was awesome, Mr. Derrio. He and my elementary music teacher helped to develop the love of music that has given me a successful three decade career.
- My wife and sister had a teacher in high school who seemed to enjoy giving students failing grades. I never could understand that. When I have a student fail, I feel like I have failed somehow and I adapt my teaching.
- My wife had a fourth grade teacher who told her she would never amount to anything.
- Mr. Trammel taught me about integrity. Even though he had a large number of sick days, he took a day off without pay rather than fake sickness.
- My best teacher was Steve Ambrose. Students will typically have a greater connection with the teacher who teaches the subject they are passionate about. Steve was passionate about music, still is, and passed that passion and excitement on to me. He really made you think!
Teachers, you have a tremendous amount of responsibility. You can make or break your students’ day.
***James is a Title 1 middle school teacher and author of Forgive: One man’s story of being molested…and God’s redemption in which he shares how important teachers were to his life. He is also available to share to groups of teachers his story and why they are important. Reach him here.