Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Excitement is Vital in Teaching

Teachers are Contagious--for Good or Ill

From middle school onwards, a vital ingredient in all successful teaching is the excitement and enthusiasm of the teacher for his or her subject. When a teacher loves the subject being taught, the excitement is contagious and students end up, more often than not, enthralled.

On the other hand, the detached, dry, desiccated pedagogue kills the subject for most students. Think career teachers who long ago lost an interest in their subject and are now grooved to time and motion role plays. And the next union extorted pay increases.

D J Carson applies this verity to teachers of the Bible. If I have learned anything in 35 or 40 years of teaching, it is that students don’t learn everything I teach them. What they learn is what I am excited about, the kinds of things I emphasize again and again and again and again. That had better be the gospel.

If the gospel—even when you are orthodox—becomes something which you primarily assume, but what you are excited about is what you are doing in some sort of social reconstruction, you will be teaching the people that you influence that the gospel really isn’t all that important. You won’t be saying that—you won’t even mean that—but that’s what you will be teaching. And then you are only half a generation away from losing the gospel.

Make sure that in your own practice and excitement, what you talk about, what you think about, what you pray over, what you exude confidence over, joy over, what you are enthusiastic about is Jesus, the gospel, the cross. And out of that framework, by all means, let the transformed life flow.
HT: Justin Taylor

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