Friday, May 16, 2014

3 things about teaching

I've been a teacher since I was 13. My first piano student - a rowdy 8-year-old boy - had to be wrestled to the bench. After two years, his family moved to another city. He had learned enough that his teacher #2, an experienced musician, complimented his progress and asked who his excellent previous instructor was. That surprised me, made me happy, and encouraged me to work even harder with my students.

I taught music for 33 years, and in my 20s, began to write and teach a variety of other subjects in churches and colleges. One of my dearest friends and I met in a class I taught at Lk Washington Technical College. W and I love teaching and have enjoyed meeting people from all over the world in our classes.

Here's what we've learned about teaching:

1. The best teachers are continual learners, willing to be taught. Student assignments are sometimes our best curriculum: Students rework information in surprising ways to teach us new things.

Curiosity and excitement in learning keeps growing. The more a good teacher knows, the more we realize how much there is to master.

We've always loved learning!
2. Researching and presenting ideas are excellent ways to learn. You have to stay far ahead of students to handle unexpected questions and understand the links between facts and possibilities. Presenting papers at conferences or writing for peer-reviewed journals is a satisfying challenge, too.

A healthy learning community makes learning more fun. Peers who love students, do sound research, and continually improve their skills make the process more exciting and rewarding.

A few of the colleagues who have inspired our research and teaching
3. Everything is connected. Whether we suddenly join the dots between seemingly unrelated data or realize that one person knows another (sometimes on the other side of the world), life becomes more and more integrated and interwoven. We look forward to expanding our connections as we teach in coming years.

Each wonder ties to another. Truly, God's work among us on this planet is an unfolding mystery and pleasure.
Students become friends: this Sri Lankan student
appropriately has the initials VP
Do you remember a favorite teacher? What was the best lesson they taught you?

Read more:
*Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12 ESV

*Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Ezekiel 13:3 NIV

*Jesus said, "On that day many will say to me, "˜Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?' Then I will declare to them, "I never knew you.'" Matthew 7:22-23 ESV

*May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. Jude 2 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Giving Lord, we thank you for all that your hand has provided. We thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, so we may know you better and be closer to you.

Lord Jesus, teach us your ways and show us right and wrong. In times of doubt and troubled minds, may our hearts lead us down the path which you have created. Amen.

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