Have you ever thought about feedback and why we give it? Usually, we give feedback when something needs fixing. We are disappointed with something, so we mention it in hopes that things will improve in the future. But often we neglect to mention the good things. 

 
A wise friend once told me, you can’t make withdrawals without making deposits. When we think of our bank account, the meaning is obvious. To write a check with a zero balance, we are only going to bounce the check and end up with a negative balance and fees to boot. My friend pointed out that it is the same way in relationships with others, especially those with whom we work on a constant basis. 
 
He was trying to address my drive-by rebuking — my tendency to correct people without having built up an account through deposits of authentic encouragement and affirmation. I felt that, since in my head I could see all the good things that people had done, that there was a balance in my opinion of someone. But, he pointed out, if these good thoughts are only in my head, the other person only hears the criticism. 
 
Have you had relationships like that? Fellow teachers — home and campus alike — are you giving each other encouragement? Hebrews 10:24-25, one of the salad verses of the Bible, says, Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” We are to give deep thought as to how we can spur each other on to love and good deeds, and we are to increasingly encourage one another. 
 
This came to mind during the School of Grammar exchange last Thursday. According to custom, we began with celebration and victory for Third Quarter. As we went around the room, my notepad quickly filled up with the notes of praise from the parents about what has been happening, especially how the campus teacher had blessed their children through words of encouragement, taking time to pray, having special lunches to get to know the kids, and through effective lessons that the students and the parents especially appreciated. 
 
It was great to hear about all of the great things our teachers are doing. In many ways they are the heart and soul of our school. The sad thing is that the teachers are often unaware of this praise. One teacher I texted admitted that she cringed upon seeing my number, wondering who was upset next. She was happily surprised to hear about the very positive feedback for several things she has been doing. 
 
Your encouragement matters. Teachers, please remember to tell parents about the good things that a child is doing. Sometimes parents are also cringing, wondering what a son or daughter might have done that day as they approach pick up time. Parents, please share the good thoughts with your campus partners. Teacher retention is always a challenge with our unique part time model. But love and encouragement can make up for other deficiencies. 
 
God knows our deep need, not for empty flattery, but for authentic encouragement:  Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  We can be the wind under each other’s wings as we obey the King. 
Serving Him together, Christopher
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