But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” 2 Peter 3:18.
Plants really are amazing. Given the right sunshine, water, and nutrients, a tiny seed will reproduce millions of cells and grow into something truly remarkable. Gardens are about more than just seeds and plants; they are about gardeners too. A garden is only as good as the gardener. A classroom is only as good as the teacher. A teacher’s job to make sure that every student is given the right combination of training, encouraging, and care to grow into something wonderful. To do this, the teacher too, must be constantly growing by learning how to master his trade. I have found it takes about five years to truly begin to be proficient at your subject.
MASTER YOUR MATERIAL True teaching is more than telling a lesson and checking papers. It is an art that takes time to develop. It takes several years to master your curriculum. Develop a resource group of seasoned teachers and mentors to suggest better ways to teach a lesson. I have been blessed to have such professional friends. I make it a point to find the time to meet with each one at least once a year. It always motivates me when I see what they are doing or what resources they have found. I have one such master-teacher friend to whom I look forward to showing off what my students have done. He always is so helpful and encouraging; but about the time I feel proud of myself, he throws out another way to make it a better lesson or raise it up to a higher level of learning. Every teacher needs to remember that “iron sharpeneth iron.”
MASTER YOUR STUDENTS It takes time to learn where your students will struggle with a lesson and how to teach that thought in a more learnable way. Where can you add a little excitement to a tedious section of the book? What project can you add that will help your children add a higher level of learning mastery. Study your students with the same effort you study your lessons. In your classroom, are there students who can’t see the board, can’t hear the teacher, can’t or won’t pay attention? There is dyslexia, A.D.D., learning handicaps, and more waiting for your solutions. While you are no doctor, a carefully observant teacher can be a key to helping a student escape the chains of discouragement caused by feelings of “I’m just stupid.” Learn to be aware of what diabetes and other diseases can do to attention spans. Learn to see when a student squints because he cannot see the board. Use your seating plan to help solve the problem; encourage parents to visit a doctor with information you have provided. Learn what kind of learner each of your students is.
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Jim Carey was the first staff member hired by Pastor Trieber in 1976. For over 40 years, he has served in many capacities. He has taught in the Christian school since its inception and has taught junior church every Sunday for that entire time as well.