(18.) On Teachers as Diamonds

(18.) On Teachers as Diamonds

(18.) On Teachers as Diamonds

Six Different Facets of the Excellent Teacher.

Every classroom teacher is a diamond in the rough, an unfinished product, no matter how well-trained or experienced. There is always room for improvement, and teacher development happens until the day of retirement. Even master teachers have not arrived, and are still in process. Every year brings a new batch of personalities, a challenging student or two or three. There is always an interesting new learning strategy based on the latest brain research, or a different methodology to experiment with. So every teacher remains a diamond in the rough, with different facets being cut in the process of teaching and learning, and maturing as a person. Excellent teaching involves perhaps six different aspects, facets that emerge as one teaches. The excellent teacher is:

1st Facet: INCARNATIONAL: Living Reminders of Learning

Fleshing out what is expected of the students; Being an example and role model of what a Christian learner looks like; Teaching in a way that demonstrates the art of learning; Treating each student the way you want them to treat each other.

2nd Facet: INTENTIONAL: Carpenters of Learning

Building a brain-friendly classroom on purpose; Seeing students as apprentices, and teachers as the masters, in the craft of learning; Teaching students the art of learning how to learn; Turning the classroom into a craftsman’s workshop.

3rd Facet: EXPERIMENTAL: Entrepreneurs of Learning

Using a variety of stimulating approaches to the content areas; Managing a dynamic environment in the classroom; Helping every student, in all their differences, to experience learning; Providing a satisfying finished product that demonstrates learning; Making the classroom an engaging children’s museum.

4th Facet: METHODICAL: Gardeners of Learning

Preparing the ground, planting the seeds, and then nurturing the process of learning, based on the latest brain research; Considering the environment and the climate, not merely the content; Helping the students realize the joy and satisfaction of fruitfulness in learning.

5th Facet: SHREWD: Non-Conformists of Learning

Uncovering long-accepted myths which inhibit learning and creativity, from recent cognitive studies; exhibiting a wild independent streak when it comes to typical education; Being a live wire and unafraid to not only show your unique personality, but to accept the uniqueness of each student as well.

6th Facet: CHRIST-CENTERED: Pastors of Learning

Following Jesus’ values in education even when it may be seen as foolish, apparently irrelevant, and counter-cultural; Developing the classroom into a learning place that nurtures wisdom, deepens understanding, and honors each student as made in the image of God; Inspiring in each student a love of truth, goodness and beauty; Maintaining a school environment where students love to learn and they learn to love; Developing relationships with each student in which each child is heard, known, accepted, and challenged in healthy ways to learn and grow.