** DISCLAIMER!! I am NOT a Master Teacher, but I do desire to be one some day.**
All quotes (except scripture) come from TEACHING: the heart of God’s redemptive program by Rev. James M. Hatch. I encourage you to read PART 1 first.
Dr. Hatch has helped me to change my definition of teaching to one that reflects “training” or “the process in which one person takes another person, in his behavior, to the place where the first person already is…the process by which the behavior of one person is changed into conformity with a standard exemplified by another.” (Hatch, 6)
So the question is: What standard should we exemplify?
Before we answer that though, what motivates you to teach? I’ve always loved the curriculum subjects that I have taught, but I think the main reason I love, and want, to teach is to make a difference in someone’s life. “If a teacher is to change another’s life, then more demands are put upon him than the skills of transmitting information.” (Hatch, 7)
I must teach in such a way that my students, my Awana kids, my own children change. How are these changes produced? It would be very sad if we had no way of knowing how to be an excellent, or even a good, teacher.
But we have been told what to do.
God tells us in Isaiah 30:21 that “This is the way, walk in it.” And He sent His Son, Jesus, to walk this earth as our example…the standard. “He is the Master Teacher.” (Hatch, 8)
“But wait a minute,” you might say, “There has been so much research done to find the best way to teach kids. How can these new revelations compare with how Jesus taught?”
There has been an attitude in education, parenting, and Christian circles that in order to understand spiritual things you go to the Bible, but if you want to understand human behavior then you go to an authority on human behavior. Absolutely there have been great things discovered through the years about brain development and learning styles. These should not be ignored. “Yet Christian teachers should not expect these to do more than they are designed to do. These are natural principles and are effective in producing natural results. In Christian teaching supernatural changes are necessary so the Christian teacher needs more than these natural principles. ” (Hatch, 8)
So if we want our students to be supernaturally changed, we need to take natural research as what it is and rely on supernatural teaching methods.
“The first object lesson was planned by God Himself ages ago. The Tabernacle in the Old Testament was an elaborate object lesson and all creation is a great flannelboard pointing by analogy to the great truths of redemption.” (Hatch, 9)
So what standard should we exemplify? Jesus’ standard. We must not only study Who He is and the message He speaks, but also how He delivers the message to those He trained.
So how did Jesus teach?
…To be Continued……………….
Anne Marie is a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 25 years of experience. She has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, Christian Schools, and conferences. She is the owner of FutureFlyingSaucers Resources where she helps busy parents and church leaders teach fun, flexible, multi-age, budget-friendly bible object lessons that enhance the spiritual growth of children. She lives with her husband and three children in South Carolina.