If teachers are being transformed by their understanding of God and His purposes, they will have a transforming impact on their students. As they look at what they teach from the radically different perspective revealed in the Bible, their excitement about the meaning and purpose of “common” things will be contagious. Their thankful spirit will stand in stark contrast to the selfishness that is so rampant. Their humility and love will bring life and hope into situations of darkness and despair—even if they are not allowed to quote the Bible or use Christian vocabulary. In fact, even in Christian environments, too many Bible verses may produce a negative rather than a positive response.
Everyone made in God’s image has been given the opportunity and responsibility to personally decide the foundation upon which they will build their life. Change is never easy and usually takes longer than anyone would like. Patience and creativity are required of teachers who want to make a difference in the lives of their students.The Visual Valet can assist a teacher to equip students to make informed personal decisions about the key questions of life, as well as introduce truth where it may not yet be wanted.Jesus’ practice, particularly in a hostile environment, was to ask penetrating questions…
…In Christian classrooms there is a temptation to tell students “all the answers” because “we can.” Teaching students to ask questions will assist them to feed themselves even if it doesn’t impress them with what “I know.” Too many Christian school graduates flounder outside the classroom. Preparing them to relate everything they think about to God and His Word will prepare them to handle new situations and new information when they don’t have the support of a Christian teacher.It is all to easy for spiritual truth to be mistreated because it isn’t properly appreciated. I don’t want to “throw pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). If I present truth in response to honest questions, I can be sure that the timing is appropriate. My student will take more time to consider answers to their personal questions even if the answers are ultimately not accepted. The Holy Spirit will have more material that He can use in their hearts and minds.
Textbook presentations of spiritual truth are more easily rejected because there is no relationship with the author. Discussions of the Big Questions within a learning “community” of teacher and students give the truth an authenticity which is undeniable. God uses the personal testimony of the life and words of the teacher to confirm the relevance and dependability of His Word. What is communicated in such discussions is far more effective than the best Christian curriculum materials. After all, students become like their teachers, not their curriculum.
Transformational Education Consultant
Today’s OnPractice is excerpted from Harold Klassen’s new e-book, Visual Valet: Personal Assistant for Christian Thinkers and Teachers. This incredibly helpful book is available for purchase here.