Setting an Example

The best example we could follow to become an efficient and capable teacher is that of Jesus’. Jesus trained His disciples both through His instructions and through His life. We see this in two verses.

1. Jesus chose 12 disciples with a purpose:

a. For them to be with Him (to instruct them)

b. To send them out to preach

c. For them to have power to heal the sick and to cast out demons: (APM) Mk 3:14 &15

2. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and gentle” (KJV) Mt 11:29.

Here we see Jesus, the teacher, with a clear purpose in His mind concerning what He wants with His disciples. He wanted to see His likeness in them. As we saw before, He did this in two ways; by teaching, instructing or educating, which we find in the gospels, and through His very being – practically letting them watch:

His Lifestyle – His Kingdom values – His Teaching
His prayer – His actions. They lived with him for three and half years learning watching His life. Their lives reflected Jesus so much that even after Jesus’ death people recognized that they were with Jesus (Acts 4:13). John also mentioned in his epistle and said “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1 – 3 ESV).

The purpose of each person varies but having a purpose is important. It makes us plan and work to reach a goal; our goals. As much as instructing is important, so also is it to be a good person. To be a role model, living as an example is the highest priority.

Children observe a lot. Their observation of our lives should not be misleading. Rather it should guide them to develop:

Right Values – Right Principles – Good Qualities (Virtues) – Good Lifestyle

How a teacher looks at life and treats the people around, gives the students a good perspective on how they ought to look at life and treat others around; as to how they should develop their own interpersonal relationships. Maybe the teacher will not be able to see 100% of change in the lives of the students, but at least he or she can see how these actions begin to take shape in their lives. Pro 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”. So whatever they observe in a teacher’s life – and it may be even a short time, the students carry some degree of it into their own lives. Personally, I still value some things that I had learnt by observing my teachers and seniors Jesus stated in Mt 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: find rest unto your souls”. Everyone likes to have good natured people around. Students too don’t appreciate teachers who get angry often; scold them over small things; find fault with them often or criticize them. They obey reluctantly and sometimes even retaliate. But, love and understanding wins them over. Even a bad student, I have noticed, begins to change his attitude and starts trying to be good when he observes a teacher with a good nature. So, teachers should be friendly and understanding; willing to help their students from trouble and in need; look at them as a person likely to make mistakes; and as people correctable if properly taught. This is not only expected and appreciated but shows spiritual discernment and maturity on the teacher’s part. To develop trust a teacher needs to be a good listener, be kind and a good sense of humor would help. Along with this a teacher also need to set:

A tone of the classroom – Build a warm environment – Mentor and nurture a student

For students, whatever a teacher says is authentic and they do whatever is asked of them. If they see the teacher as being noble, the students will also start to respect and honor them. For younger kids and little children, a teacher takes the second place after the mother. Their teachers are their first public contacts. They are the ones a child spends most of the time in a day with other than the mother. Besides teaching, the teacher needs to play the role of a mother treating them with love and care tending to their needs. For older students a teacher is a hero or a role model. So a teacher needs to set a good example.

We also need to pray for them and their spiritual life, whole life – body, soul, spirit, will and emotions. Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17. Even though not immediately but sometime during their life time God will surely answer our prayers by working in their lives. How and when, may not know, but surely God will work because He promised that He will hear us and answer us. He will do it because saving the lives of people is His heart, plan and purpose.

Do not stop learning because life never stops teaching.

Stop learning and you will start decaying.

Aruna Fullonton former UESI Staff lives in Hyderabad

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