Teaching is serious business, especially when the subject is religion. That doesn’t mean that teaching should be dry, severe, or always sobering, but it does mean that teachers of God’s way must realize the urgency and importance of their task, and so discharge their duties with a view to standing before God with a clean conscience.
Some people are gifted by God with talents that make them exceptional teachers almost from the start, others seem to struggle, but the fact remains: whether gifted or not, all teachers must grow and develop and will greatly benefit from training to be better teachers.
Quality teacher training will aid teachers to excel in three basic areas of concern:
- the content of their lessons,
- the personality, or spirit in which the lesson is presented, and
- the teacher’s relationship with the students.
Most teachers will find excelling in one of these three areas easy, doing well in a second not too difficult, but will deal with weakness in regard to their third concern. Teachers must seek excellence by focusing on that which comes most naturally (focus on your strength), persevering in that which is challenging (this will support and magnify your strength), and growing in the ability to accomplish that which seems the most difficult (here you will find the most personal growth). Teachers who neglect any of these three fundamental concerns will face disappointment as their students fail to grow the way they should.
The students are what matter. A teacher is reflected in his or her students. The students are the measurement of a teacher’s success. Teachers, devote yourselves to prayer, study, and lesson preparation. An unprepared teacher does not deserve time with God’s students. Teachers, strive to be excited and emphatic when you present your lessons. If it is worth saying, it is worth saying well. Teachers, love your students and get to know them well. If you truly hope to have a lasting impact, you simply must have a relationship first. May God bless our teachers!