With the start of a new school year comes the preparation time that always seems too short (for me, anyway.) The store bins, filled with the bright, new school supplies, are ravaged by parents and students alike. Then, there's the teacher-people who "need" all the pretty colors of materials and, of course, a fresh box of Crayola crayons just because!
Behind all the school stuff and teacher prep are reasons. Why such care to prepare? Here are a few of my thoughts and a prayer of my heart as a teacher.
-- Learning should be colorful literally and metaphorically.
Color-coding is helpful in geography, science, math, planning, organizing, studying, art, and other school-related areas.
God could have created our world without color - without beauty - without order. He teaches us in the setting of beautiful creations with an orderly sunrise and sunset to mark our days. Why shouldn't we make our learning spaces full of color and order? Is color necessary to learn facts? No, but it helps!
-- A classroom of students is like a set of colored pencils.
God created each student (and teacher) wonderfully unique. Each has a combination of learning skills, and no two are the same. Some students retain knowledge best with visual helps, while some respond better to auditory instructions. Kinesthetic learners benefit from "hands on" lessons and activities.
While some students enjoy interacting in class, some speak only when asked a question. Some have a hard time sitting still while some simply wish that they would. Some students are detailed in their assignments, while others are content to just complete the homework. Changing weather may affect the outlook of some students while others do not even notice. A shred of paper on the floor is out of the question for some, while others cannot see several books scattered awry on the floor.
We are all different, and that's what makes a classroom of students fun, colorful, and challenging all at the same time!
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." - Psalm 139:14
-- Academic learning can be enhanced with artistic methods. (art, music, drama...)
Artistic visuals, decorations, and even textbooks are bonuses in a learning environment. God could have designed our world without color or beauty, but He is good and gracious to give us all things to enjoy.
Music is a proven tool to help with memorization whether it be learning the names of the states, the U.S. Presidents, the books of the Bible, or Scripture verses.
Drama brings literature to life and encourages communication skills in speech and in creative writing.
-- A teacher is a student - ever learning.
Most academic subjects remain concrete in their content, yet the methods in which they are taught have room for current creativity. There are limitless resources available today for teachers to draw from to keep lessons interesting. The more experience a teacher has, the more a teacher realizes the vast abyss of new things to learn.
Teachers have a learning curve each year because each year in a classroom, a home school room, or a learning center will be different from ever before. The number of students will decrease eventually in a home school family. In a classroom setting, the numbers fluctuate annually giving the class a new dynamic each year. The students personalities will create a "new" class.
-- Students are teachers, too.
Often times, my children and my students teach me by their lives - by an answer they give or by their perspective that is different from mine. In truth, every person is a teacher whether you want to be one or not. Our lives teach. What are we teaching by how we live?
-- School is for a lifetime: teaching and learning.
Students graduate from high school and college. Teachers retire from the profession of teaching. How does school go on for a lifetime?
As believers, we have a perfect Guidebook ~ God's Word. As believers, we have the perfect Guide ~ the Holy Spirit to give us understanding and wisdom to live lives as good students and good stewards.
Academics are important, yet we need not forget the necessity to study the Word of God and seek to learn by the instruction of the Holy Spirit - until we meet Jesus Christ face-to-face in Heaven.
A Teacher's Prayer
Thank You for the opportunity to influence young lives to know You, love You, and serve You with their lives. With You, their futures are bright!
Please, help me grow in knowledge and in Truth as I endeavor to teach these wonderful students whom You have created and brought to my classroom this year.
Please give me the wisdom and creativity to teach each day according to the needs of my students that each will understand and retain knowledge.
I desire Your glory through my little teaching spot in this big world.
Your Student, Steward, and Servant,