As we reflect on the past year and what is to come as this year advances, we consider the efforts made of individuals in certain professions. Teachers, for one, have been a group consistently called to make a difference for children and teens. Now we can take a moment to appreciate the efforts of educators and remember what drives those of us in the field of education to take on the role of teacher.
For some, teaching has always been a certainty. When asked when they decided to become teachers, many recall their love of working with children, always wanting to teach their siblings, cousins or neighbors during play or later as tutors and teachers’ assistants. Praying for guidance and reflecting on our core values and virtues can help us discern if God’s plan is for us to be a teacher. For those who have not yet made a firm choice, consider the following ideas as you contemplate whether God’s plan is for you to choose a program of study that leads to a career in teaching:
Learning With High Expectations, Curiosity and Advocacy
Many teachers are creative in guiding their students to develop their literacy and critical thinking skills. They provide them with authentic, project-based learning experiences to equip them with the knowledge, skills and abilities to analyze issues in their communities and encourage the creation of innovative solutions. For example, when learning about the environment, teachers can task the students to explore causes and effects of pollution and challenge them to create workable solutions. They can have the students send their proposals to the community newspaper editor and get it published.
Leading With Professional Conduct, Fairness and Honesty
Educators have power: their influence can be likened to the ripple effect of a stone when thrown into a body of water. They can instill a love of learning, thereby creating a well-versed and literate community, one that engages in civil discourse to improve everyone’s lives. They create opportunities for meaningful discussions about current issues with students that align with the academic disciplines’ topics and objective. Thereby, they are supporting students’ expression of their viewpoints and helping them articulate their emerging philosophies.
For instance, in social studies, students can analyze living conditions and resources in urban communities. Afterword, they can analyze the impact of inequities that may exist in those environments. Next, students can advocate for creating systems that provide equitable access to resources that are prevalent in affluent communities such as fresh foods and vegetables.
Serving With Dedication
Not only do teachers model effective collaboration with one another, but they also serve as role models for establishing and nurturing healthy relationships with students, families and community members. To provide applicable opportunities for their students, they partner with families, community-based businesses and organizations to extend and enhance the school’s curriculum.
By doing this, they are modeling how to collaborate with community leaders to recognize and accomplish their goals. For example, a teacher with an affinity for gardening may wish to reach out to their peers or local Habitat for Humanity about collaborating on a community garden, which can teach students about healthy living, plant life cycles and more.
By nurturing and modeling these dispositions, you will be affirming God’s plan for you to be a teacher. Furthermore, you are empowering your students to investigate issues affecting their communities and advocate for change which will ultimately hone their skills and abilities to lead flourishing lives. The Bible passage from Romans 8:28 tells us, “All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” In this way, becoming a teacher can indeed provide one with a career that is purposeful, uplifting and meaningful.
Want more? Check out all of the articles from Teaching Tuesday and return each week for a new post. To learn more about the College of Education and our degree programs, click the Request Info button and join in our efforts to elevate the education profession.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.