Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Mark of a Great Teacher

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." ~Jesus in John 16:12

I tend to see life through the lens of teaching, because that is my gift and passion. As I study the life of Christ via the scriptures, it strikes me that here is THE most elegant model for teaching:
  •  Dialogue in an informal setting
  •  Answering questions with questions
  •  Learning from nature
  •  Parables
  •  Investing in a small circle of disciples

John 16:12 adds another nugget of truth to that list: knowing exactly how much the student can take and not exceeding that limit.

How difficult it is for me to place a limit on myself! I want to pour into my students' heads all the treasure that I've managed to store in my small cache of wisdom.. How prideful that is--they cannot bear it now. But the Spirit of truth will take any seed of wisdom that I sow in the fertile hearts of my students and He will continue to lead them into all truth. It's a promise: "When He, the spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all the truth..." John 16:13

This is so freeing for any teacher. When the student can bear no more, STOP! The Holy Spirit is able to finish the teaching session at a future time and place. He even has the capacity to create a hunger for learning and when that happens the student will leave no stone unturned until he has satisfied the need to know.

An old proverb sums this idea up pretty accurately: strike while the iron is hot.
Conversely, if you don't strike oil, stop boring!

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