Content provided by North Central education faculty Sharon Connor
Teaching isn’t for the faint of heart. But it is an important profession, and one that is impacting the world today, and for future generations.
Because teachers have such a unique opportunity to affect, support, and influence young minds, the world needs Christian teachers who will be right-motivated educators. Being an education major also paves the way for students to apply a spiritual gifting for teaching.
How Christian teachers can make an impact:
- Bringing balance to a secular field
The education field can tend to be on the liberal and secular side of the spectrum, and it sometimes directly opposes Christian viewpoints. Teachers who are Christian can be a voice of balance in this environment when conversing with other teachers as well as with their own students.
- Ministering to young people
Teachers have more direct access to young people than almost anyone else in their lives (except for their parents). An elementary school teacher spends an average of 25-30 hours with their students each week.During those hours, teachers don’t just teach content. They care for the emotional and physical needs of the child. And middle school and high school teachers, though they spend fewer hours with each student, still also make a significant impact on students’ development of character and skills. Most adults can point to a teacher who has impacted their life.So in such an important role, teachers with a ministering heart can be a kind voice that helps a student to grow in all aspects of their life.
- Students come to their teachers for advice
Students often approach teachers for help with academic problems as well as with struggles or conflicts in their life. Teachers who have earned an education degree at a Christian university are uniquely equipped to address these student concerns with compassion and the love of Christ.While Christian teachers are sometimes constrained against sharing the Gospel directly, they are free to guide young people in wise directions and to give biblical advice.
- Teachers are role-models
Christian teachers can show students that there is a different way to live. By being people of integrity who are living a fulfilling life, they serve as a positive example for the young people they educate.If students ask direct questions about their teachers, they are free to share their beliefs. And while there may be unpleasant political repercussions, it is not illegal for Christian teachers to respond directly.
- “Teach what you know and who you are”
Knowing their subject matter enables teachers to be academically sound, but their every action in the classroom teaches students about who they are.North Central University Education professor Sharon Connor tells this story about her experience in public school, “Right after I began teaching in a public school, I had students stop by my room after school and ask me, ‘You are a Christian, aren’t you?’ When asked how they knew – the answer was simply – ‘You can tell.'”Every decision a teacher makes in the classroom reflects their character and their core values. Decisions about management, handling conflict, responding to authority, showing compassion – you name it – comes out of who the teacher is.Christianity as a teacher – in action in the classroom – is probably the strongest testimony to students, parents and administrators there can be. A Christian teacher has an unusually large stage and audience with which to share their life.
- Teachers who pray
Whether it’s coming to their classroom early in the morning to pray or turning to the Lord in moments of feeling overwhelmed, teachers who follow Christ and come to Him regularly will find their classroom guided by wisdom from God.Prayer not only changes lives, it changes classrooms!
Want to learn more about how to be a Christian teacher?
Download these simple steps to becoming a teacher.