When I was a young and relatively immature teacher, I used to think that teaching was mainly about knowing the most, making the best grades, and being able to communicate or explain things to others in the best possible way. Because I was an A+ student, I had a huge repertoire of knowledge.
After I thought I knew it all, I learned the truth that “knowledge makes proud, but love builds up.”
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” John Wooden
Simply focusing on the superficial aspects of teaching, such as knowledge and effective public speaking, inevitably lead to pride. It will make you feel you know more than anyone else and that you are somehow better than everyone.
But focusing on the kind of unconditional sacrificial love that lays down one’s life for the people you are trying to teach transforms everything. When you, a free person and not a slave to anyone, chooses because of love to become a slave to your audience (the people you are called to reach and teach), then you will be built up. You will grow in righteousness. You will be transformed leaps and bounds. And the transformation won’t end with you, your listeners will be transformed too.
Teaching is not simply about one’s ability to learn quickly. Teaching has nothing to do with IQ or level of intelligence. The call to become a teacher is not for the smart and intelligent. It’s for those who are willing to give up themselves for the sake of the students. When you are able to do that, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, you will be an effective teacher. The spirit of teaching will flow in and through you and impact your students.
Teaching is about one’s ability to learn quickly, obey what you learn quickly, be transformed by it, and then model the change for others to follow.
The best teacher is not simply the one who learns something faster or quicker than anyone. It’s not the one with the largest repertoire of head knowledge. It’s not the one who makes 100% on their classes and learns concepts faster than anyone else. The best teacher is not the person who is best at public speaking.
The best teacher is the one who allows what they learn to transform them the quickest and the deepest, and who in turn surrenders their old ways quickly and then passionately but compassionately seeks to help others become what they have already become. Great teachers are early adopters before they can be early demonstrators. Teachability is the trait that helps make all that possible.
The best teachers are first the best doers. Then as they do, they become teachers.
Having the gifts, passion, abilities, personality, and experiences that are suitable for a teacher doesn’t make one an effective teacher.
The teacher of morality and righteousness must be broken and surrendered to their calling and its purpose.