Too often, it seems, the idea of stewardship is limited to how much we give financially or how well we manage our personal finances. Unfortunately, we tend to limit it to things we own or think we own. Stewardship is more than simply taking care of what we have. It is also about taking care of what belongs to someone else.
According to Ann C. McCamy, being a good steward means taking great care of anything we have the opportunity to deal with. Stewardship then is not limited to our financial resources. We should practice good stewardship in the use of our time, in the maintenance of our relationships, in the care of our environment and the free goods from nature, as well as our personal mental and physical health. Practicing stewardship should be a lifelong commitment of every individual.
In the same manner, being a good steward means not wasting someone else’s time, money and energy. Thus, tardiness to appointments and lack of preparation for a meeting or classes (for teachers) are just two common examples of how school leaders and teachers fail to practice stewardship toward others; that sometimes, I’m guilty of this. A good steward is concerned with the resources of others as well as his or her own.
Let us indeed put into account that being teachers, teaching is about stewarding the children and youth who are entrusted to us by their parents. There is no greater gift to a human being than a child!
Basically, parents bring their children to school not only for the teachers to teach their most valuable inheritors but for teachers to love, nurture, protect and enrich them. Therefore teachers musrt help their students to become the human being we aspire them to be. As what Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
It is common for teachers to use their resources for the benefit of their students. This is true because looking to the future requires teachers to do a different kind of mentoring. I still hold on to the cliché that the most forward thinking teachers volunteer their time, energy, and services and even financial assistance like scholarship support.
In every orientation related to benefits, rights, and privileges of a public teacher, I come to the conclusion that we are all expected to share our earthly prosperity with others through the joy of giving. In fact, the patron saint Ignatius of Loyola taught generosity and to give without counting the cost.
Moreover, being a good steward is by doing your job as if you owned the school even when you know you do not because it is observed that today’s generation of employees often lacks a sense of ownership. Let us remember that stewardship is both an attitude and a lifestyle!
By Mary Grace Dangsi Payad