Teaching is a noble calling.
It is not easy. It is often underappreciated. Despite the wisecracks about teachers having a lot of paid vacation days and summers off, most teachers are nonetheless working (or thinking about job-related matters) almost all the time.
Teaching doesn’t pay nearly as much as it should, considering the potential benefits it offers both individuals and society. We show by our dollars what we truly think of it and its value. We readily pay far more for our health (doctors, nurses, drugs, etc.), our comfort (e.g., HVAC repairmen), and entertainment (actors and athletes) but balk at paying teachers more. This values disparity is magnified dramatically when the teachers involved are in Christian education.
Yet, you don’t hear complaints from the dedicated Christian teachers about the low wages. They are called to it, and they take that call seriously. To them, it’s more than just a job with a paycheck. Teaching offers intangible, even eternal, rewards. But teaching also carries with it a biblical caveat, and that warning is what causes those teachers to take their ministry seriously: “Be not many masters [teachers], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” [bear a greater responsibility] (James 4:1).
I have spent the better part of my adult life in various aspects of Christian education: classroom teacher; interim principal; editor of educational materials; and author of education articles, history textbooks, and ancillary materials. I don’t have a large financial portfolio or retirement account to show for it, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have been fulfilling my calling. I have numerous former students and untold numbers of unknown (to me) students who used materials that I’ve written or edited, and I was able to have an influence on some of them.
In January 1988, Dr. Charles Walker, editor of Journal for Christian Educators and since 1982 executive director of the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools, published my first article for that magazine. Over the next 23 years, he encouraged me to keep on writing and continued to publish
Most of the articles in the book were published in Journal for Christian Educators between January 1988 and December 2011. Some of them were published in other educational publications, and a few were written especially for this book.
Dr. Walker wrote in his foreword that Teacher is “a must-read for every Christian school educator” and “needs to be on every teacher’s desk.”
Conditions and circumstances in which education occurs change over time, as does the technology to make learning possible or easier, but the principles of good teaching are eternal and unchanging. Take away all the modern technology and return us to the one-room schoolhouse, and good teachers would still find a way to teach effectively because the principles remain the same.
Good teachers are also forever learners. They know that there are no “know-it-alls” in this life, and they therefore are always striving to improve their knowledge and their skills.
The goal of Teacher–my prayer as its author–is that it will inspire, motivate, and encourage teachers in their quest to learn and share their knowledge, especially the truths and values of God’s Word, with their students.
Maybe my book (available at http://www.amazon.com) could help you. Or someone you know.
Copyright (c) 2017, Dennis L. Peterson