Monday, January 20, 2014

Article: What students remember most about teachers

What makes a good teacher? 
Before you start looking at lesson plan outlines and teaching certificates - those these details are important - look first at the teacher and their willingness to build relationships as the core of teaching.

Great blog post:  What students remember most about teachers.
Give it a read.

And of all the students I know who have lauded teachers with the laurels of the highest acclaim, those students have said of those teachers that they cared. 
You see, kids can see through to the truth of the matter. And while the flashy stuff can entertain them for a while, it's the steady constance of empathy that keeps them connected to us. It's the relationships we build with them. It's the time we invest. It's all the little ways we stop and show concern. It's the love we share with them: of learning. Of life. And most importantly, of people. 
And while we continually strive for excellence in our profession as these days of fiscal restraint and heavy top-down demands keep coming at us- relentless and quick. We need to stay the course. For ourselves and for our students. Because it's the human touch that really matters. 
It's you, their teacher, that really matters.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Link: Tullian Tchividjian on Grace

This is an incredible article, and I highly recommend.  Tullian Tchividjian is a young(er) PCA pastor in the pulpit of one of the denomination's flagship churches, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida (formerly pastored by Dr. D. James Kennedy).

In this interview, Tchividjian explains why Grace makes us so angry, and how the Evangelical Church seems to have lost its grip on Grace:
it seems that the good news of God’s grace has been tragically hijacked by an oppressive religious moralism that is all about rules, rules, and more rules; doing more, trying harder, self-help, getting better, and fixing, fixing, fixing–—ourselves, our kids, our spouse, our friends, our enemies, our culture, our world. Christianity is perceived as being a vehicle for good behavior and clean living and the judgments that result from them rather than the only recourse for those who have failed over and over again.
Full article:
Billy Graham's grandson takes Christians to task: An interview with Tullian Tchividjian

My experience in Christian education makes me agree:  nothing will piss people off like choosing Grace over Law.   Legalism is safe and fair and predictable.  Applied in a school setting, it offers rules and guidelines to follow.  Not the messy uncertainties and ambiguities of Grace.

It will always be easier to make a rule about something than to attack the heart of the issue, which is that our behavior always stems from who we are and our relationship with God.  The God-man relationship must be a relationship of Grace. And there's the rub.