Teachers, here is encouragement from R. C. Sproul to really know and understand the biblical concepts you are teaching your students:
Certain assumptions are made in the classroom. The first is that the teacher knows more about the subject than the student. It is, in general, a safe assumption. The second assumption is that the teacher cannot communicate his mastery of the subject all at once. To educate (as the Latin root suggests), we must lead students “out of” ignorance into knowledge. That knowledge moves in increments, from the simple to complex.
…A great teacher can simplify without distortion. This is the supreme test of understanding. If I truly understand something, I ought to be able to communicate it to others. There is a vast chasm that separates the simple from the simplistic. Jesus, the greatest teacher ever, taught in simple terms. But He was never simplistic. To oversimplify is to distort the truth. The great teacher can express the profound by the simple, without distortion. To do that requires a deep level of understanding. The great teacher imparts understanding, not merely information. To do that the teacher must understand the material being taught.
For the above to happen, we need to take our call to teach the Bible to children very seriously. Too many times, curricula and/or teachers assume that we need to be “simplistic” with children. Hence, there are shallow lessons that never dig deep into the profound truths of Scripture. Or, a teacher may have good, solid curricula but may fail to adequately master and understand the material before teaching. That is why it is so important for teachers to use good curriculum and spend a serious amount of time in prayerful study to understand the material.
Teachers, I would like to extend a special invitation to you to come to our National Conference this year. As a long-time teacher, one of the seminars that would be on the top of my list to attend would be:
Practical Tips for Teaching with Passion and Purpose (Tim and Amy Bell)
Join us as we discuss teaching children about our Great God with enthusiasm. Come explore classroom ideas and encouraging tips for knowing your lesson, knowing your students, and managing your time well. We’ll also touch on how to work better in ministry teams and partner with parents in order to leave a Godly legacy for coming generations. Whether you are a new or seasoned teacher or volunteer, this seminar will give you ideas you can use in your class.
(Image courtesy of Rawich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)