Thursday, March 20, 2014

Devote Yourself to Teaching

Now that I am back in writing mode, it is difficult to concentrate on much else...(i.e. school work!) Today and tomorrow I have been called in to work. I am substitute teaching third grade for a wonderful lady who is getting married over the weekend. And her class is fabulous! Hubs and I got to talking about substitute teachers a couple days ago. I certainly remember some of mine. One, for instance, used to sit and watch television the entire class time. He would tell us as long as we kept the noise down we could have social time. That is not the type of substitute I am! The instructors leave for me their lesson plans and I literally fill in for them. I introduce new material, review the stuff they have already covered, administer tests and quizzes, grade papers, enter grades into the record book, etc. It is my goal to keep things as "normal" as possible for the students so that hopefully the transition between myself and their teacher is relatively seamless. That is my goal, anyway. In a sense I feel like a grandparent. I get to visit with the children and then turn them back over. It is fun --- of course I get those who like to test the envelope --- but overall it is a great experience.

I want to mention, the school for which I sub is AWESOME! As I study Education (I'm currently in an Early Education class) I come to really appreciate all that the school offers its students and their families. Truly, these kiddos are blessed! There is so much with which schools and their staff have to contend. Funds for public school are mainly received from property taxes. "Tracking" labels children and ends up influencing their success. There is an education gap that varies from culture to culture represented in each school. But the one where I sub, has none of that! It is beautifully diverse! No tracking. The education is fair across the board.

And, I have to say, teachers (in general) are amazing! I get the privilege of walking in their shoes in the classroom, interacting with students...trying to inspire them and light a fire that will encourage them to be life long learners. But full time teachers have such a large variety of learners it is tough to reach all of them according to how each one best receives and processes information. Further, it is not just about the students (as I feel it should be), there are standardized tests to which to cater, the educational philosophy of the school, the various intelligences, the expectations of the parents, the politics of the school district. The list of what is stacked up against teachers goes on and on. Yet, they work long hours for little pay. Incredible!

If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
(1 Timothy 4:6-16 ESV)

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