The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge» (Proverbs 14:18, NW).
He came to school in the midst of a huge indifference on the part of the students. His appearance was most irrelevant; besides, he did not seem very gifted to be the new teacher of physical education: he was short, quiet, and didn’t have big muscles. Up until then, the school basketball team had never won anything. But that man took his role seriously and dedicated himself to observing the kids as they played during recess. In the end, he made the selection of players and summoned trainings. The kids looked at him perplexed. Training? What did this man propose? And there we were, training three days a week and subjected to rigorous discipline. One day, the teacher came in with huge boxes and said: «Next week the youth basketball championship starts, and we will win it; here are your uniforms.» Getting that simple T-shirt was a very significant thing for us.
Until that moment, no one had told us we could win a championship. That man believed that we could succeed and strove to convince us of it. He took advantage of any time to encourage us to do our best and tell us that we were the greatest. That’s how, over the weeks, we started winning games and learned that the teacher was right: we could be champions! And so it was. It was the first time that some kids knew what it was to enjoy a victory. At school we were filled with praise. Later, some of the players of that beloved team went to several youth Olympics representing our regions. The interesting thing was that from that year on, the school developed a fever for basketball that favored important achievements in this sport for future generations. But none of this would have been possible without the influence of that teacher who changed the course of many lives.
Ellen White says in this regard: «When every teacher shall forget self, and feel a deep interest in the success and prosperity of his pupils, realizing that they are God’s property, and that he must render an account for his influence upon their minds and characters, then we shall have a school in which angels will love to linger. Jesus will look approvingly upon the work of the teachers and will send His grace into the hearts of the students»—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, sec. 3, p. 93.
We can all teach others to be better people. Ask God to help you be a good influence on others.