Our lives are built-on relationships. We have them in school, at church, during our work, and with God. The list could keep going. We all will keep learning more and more about what it takes to have better relationships as long as the Lord gives us life. Most of my experience with children has come from spending several years in a classroom. However, most of what we will talk about in this article can apply to parents, teachers, and in fact to everyone, since we are all involved in relationships.
As I look back on my school teaching experiences, many memories run through my mind. Teaching school was probably one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever had; but it was also one of the most rewarding. There are rewards that a schoolteacher receives that differ from the rewards of most other jobs.
Most children are born with a seemingly insatiable desire for knowledge. Their favorite words are why and how. As they grow older, they realize that in school, they will learn to find their own answers to their questions. Day after day, they come home with, “Today we learned the "a" or the "s" sound, and soon they are reading, “Sam sat in the sun.” We think that is wonderful, and it is. At this early stage, the teacher is a sort of heroine who guides their eager feet along the flowery path of knowledge, and all is well.
I have a few special memories of past groups of students performing exceptionally well at a Christmas or spring program. Something is inspiring about young children and high school students throwing their hearts into carefully rehearsed praise. Of course, the opposite is true. Did you ever attend a program where the students seemed incapable of getting excited about what they were doing? The students barely open their mouths during a program while a teacher tries bravely to wring forth some sound. How discouraging!
God has many ways of preparing people for life. My school teaching experiences as a young man helped to prepare me for life and, in many ways, has shaped who I am today. Maybe God hasn’t and won’t ever call you to be a teacher, but I am sure that if you follow Him, He will lead you and bring experiences into your life to mold you into the person He wants you to be. Someone could just as easily be writing about the blessings they are receiving by following God in another vocation.
Every job has its unique set of challenges. Teaching is emotionally taxing, and takes mental energy. Teachers sense a need for ways to find renewal and refreshment. But teaching has daily demands, and many refreshing pursuits are hard to accomplish while teaching.
Teachers impart something of their very person to the students every day and generally demands full attention all day long. Discipline issues can dip deeply into our emotional reserves. Communicating with unhappy parents burns up more precious energy. Our cup of emotional reserves gets drained repeatedly.
How many years did you go to school? How many years are necessary? When should a child be “finished” with school? When does this become too much education? These are just several questions that can come as we consider how many grades a student should complete.
The Christian Day School offers many learning experiences for our children. As our children prepare to face life, they must learn to relate to various authorities. Parents are their primary authority in their childhood, but they begin to move between home, Sunday School, and school. They learn under different teachers. They meet different rules and learn other ways of doing things. They see strengths and weaknesses in these teachers that are different from their parents.
So you’ve committed to teaching school, and you’re headed off to Teacher’s Institute. Or you’ve been teaching for several years and are going back to it again this Fall. Maybe you’ve been teaching more than ten years, and you’ve been at many teacher meetings and sat in many classes. Whatever your experience is, you can benefit from attending a teachers’ meeting.
The first five years of a child’s life lay the foundation for future failure or success. Bit by bit, he accumulates the knowledge and abilities he will need to be a complete, independent adult. From the first moment in the womb when he responds to his mother’s voice, he is processing and reacting to information given to him. The first five years of a child’s life contain a dramatic transformation from a helpless infant into a self-aware first grader. During that time, his brain develops more and faster than at any other period during his life.