Sunday, August 26, 2012

What is in a name?

Nathan is a name that is biblical in origin. He was a prophet and adviser to Kind David. Because of Nathan's wisdom, King David was able to stop a plot that would have set up a usurper king, which resulted in Kind Solomon's reign. Most people think that my name is short for Nathaniel when they first meet me, but I am quick to correct them.

Nathan was a servant of the powerful. He gave wisdom and advice to those people who were in positions to act directly and decisively. I am also a servant of the powerful, but in a much different way. I serve those who are going to be powerful in the future, but who are currently still developing and still learning.

While I have abandoned the active faith that led my parents to name me after a biblical prophet, I still appreciate the significance of my name and its ancient origins. It reminds me that even though my job is not  directly impactful on public policy, I have an important advisory role with my students. It is my responsibility to teach them how to think, to make them consider what they do not originally see, and to make them work to constantly improve themselves through lifelong learning. The responsibilities I have in teaching are very similar to those of Nathan the adviser, and I will do my best to make sure I do it justice.