Plenty of education studies and books have approached answering the question: What makes a great teacher?
Jennifer Hogan has a wonderful blog on this specific topic found here:
As we approach the day before Easter, I’d like to reflect on the greatest teacher who’s been in our midst. Jesus Christ throughout the Bible made each moment an opportunity of teaching for those who followed him. Even up to his death on the cross, his actions teach us. There are three qualities in particular that highlight the heart and mindset of Jesus in his teaching:
1. No judgement against those he taught:
–> Throughout the gospels we see that Jesus resides with and teaches those that the religious elites despised. Tax collectors, prostitutes, and gentiles; they were all welcomed by Jesus and never sent away. He taught them and invested in them. What is even more incredible, were the 12 disciples that Jesus called. They were not highly trained religious teachers, they were fishermen, accounts from the period said that several of them couldn’t even read when they initially became disciples.
–> Our application? – Every child in our midst is worthy of our time and investment without judgement, but with grace. Many students had little control over the lives that were built for them when they enter the classroom. Our role is to equip them and prepare them for the world and life they will build for themselves.
2. His teaching and actions are aligned:
–> Jesus was not inconsistent. His actions were a direct reflection of what he taught. In Matthew 5, Jesus teaches the Beatitudes. This beautiful sermon summarizes the spiritual attitude that Jesus encapsulated with his life. We are not perfect and nor can we be perfect, but can we discipline our hearts and spirit to be more consistent in our lives?
–> Our application? – We tell our students to be eager learners. Are we as hungry and does it show up? We tell our students to have a growth mindset. When was the last time we broke the mold and tried something that stretched us? We tell our students not to procrastinate. Yet, I’ve got a pile of papers that haven’t been graded for two weeks… Our actions speak much louder than words. Jesus knew this and is why he died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.
3. Jesus taught for application and living:
–> Jesus’ primary method of instruction besides direct modeling, was through parables. Throughout his short ministry on earth, he taught 39 parables that are directly captured in the gospels. It would be fair to say there were probably more that were shared by him beyond these. These parables many times left his disciples and followers confused. Yet, it forced them to continue to reflect and wrestle with what Jesus was teaching. In many cases, these parables were speaking about direct application to how we need to approach our spiritual and daily walk.
–> Our application? – I’m not suggesting we stop teaching content or even necessarily changing the way we teach. Yet, we need to have awareness in being responsive teachers. We should be prepared to utilize teachable moments that may carry weight beyond the content and into our students’ lives. I love the Habitudes series and if a teachable moment allows me to integrate it into a lesson, I will do so. I’m not only responsible for preparing the next generation of agriculturists, but I’m also preparing the next generation of leaders in our community and parents for our future students.
Thank you Lord for taking up the cross. May we seek to love as you loved and give our hearts to your service on this earth. To you be all the glory.
Everyone have a blessed Easter! ~Anthony