Dr. Freeman Weems III
· A Definition of Teaching
In the Christian context, teaching is the communication of the living Word, Christ; from the written Word, the Bible; through the spoken word of the teacher. It includes both a sense of a gift and of call. Its effective outworking calls for both training and thorough preparation.
· A Definition of Learning
Learning is thinking into one’s own understanding a new idea or truth or working into habit a new art or skill.
· Objectives in Teaching
Good objectives in teaching will enable us to “hit our target.” If we do not make definite plans about what we intend to accomplish, we will accomplish little or nothing for all our efforts and time.
o Marks of good objectives:
§ Brief enough to be remembered
§ Clear enough to be written down
§ Specific enough to be achieved
§ Flexible enough to allow for changes in the teaching situation
§ Made in terms of student behavior
(Such general statements as “I want to be a blessing to my class,” or “I hope to teach the lesson adequately,” are too ambiguous to be evaluated properly.)
o The more immediate the teaching situation, the more detailed the teaching objective should be.
CATEGORIES OF METHODS
· Teacher to Student Communication
Such methodology as lecture, storytelling, and demonstration
· Student to Teacher Communication
Such methods as recitation, reports, and testing
· Teacher with Student Communication
Class discussion and “question and answer”
· Group Activity
Activities such as panels, buzz groups, dramas
· Instructive Play
Educational games and toys, puppets, action songs, etc.
Some Teaching Hints
- Become acquainted with various methods of teaching
- By reading books on teaching
- By watching good teachers in action
- By experience (don’t quit)
- Use lesson plans for analysis
- Constantly evaluate yourself as a teacher
FACTORS IN CHOOSING A METHOD
- The Objectives of the Lesson
- What you are trying to accomplish will help to determine the best method of approaching the material and the class.
- Age Group of the Students
- It would be impractical to use adult lecture method to teach primaries. On the other hand, the use of a simple Bible story would usually be insufficient for adult study.
· Teens are topically oriented!
· Adults are text oriented
· Children are story oriented
Remember that abstract thinking is a product of maturity. Teens are just beginning to master that faculty and may respond to some teaching that requires it, but will more readily respond to relevant topics such as dating, parent/teen relationship, the will of God for the individual, and the like.
NEVER ASSUME that the students will know what you are talking about. Make sure that you are using words and terms that they understand or take the time to teach the meaning and definitions of any new or important ones.
- Content of the Lesson
“A historical lesson from the book of Acts for high schoolers could lend itself well to an illustrated presentation with the use of good Bible maps. On the other hand, the principles of Christian separation expounded by the Apostle Paul in the sixth chapter of I Corinthians would be handled better in that group through open discussion.”
- Available Resources
- Educational Background of the Students
Is your class mainly new Christians – then the finer points of prophecy probably are not what they need just now. Are you teaching “bus kids,” think about their home environment (A VISIT IN THEIR HOME WILL BETTER ACQUAINT YOU WITH THE NEEDS OF YOUR STUDENTS).
- Allotted Time
Preparation is one of the keys to effective teaching. Do not think that teaching the “little kids” requires less of you than teaching the teens or adults. To be able to bring a Bible doctrine or principle down to the level of children requires a thorough knowledge of it by the teacher lest they lay a weak or false foundation. Though the Bible teaching on Hell is not easy for little ones to grasp we cannot weaken the Bible’s teaching on such subjects when they come up in class and they will come up for discussion.
Approachability is a key in teaching anyone. If you act disinterested or aloof when students speak to you or ask questions, you will not be very effective. Do not get upset when questions are asked. Even when the question disrupts the lesson somewhat if it is a sincere effort to get to truth do not show frustration because you are not “getting to finish your thoughts.” Teaching and learning are two distinct events, but should meet at the same time and place.
Without prayer, nothing we do will last. I fear that many of us take for granted how important it is to pray for our students. Pray for them as often as possible. Do not just make it a Saturday night ritual, but a daily agonizing before the Throne of Grace for the souls and minds of your students.
Remember that though we believe the Bible without any debate, we must be able to present to the world a coherent reason for the hope that lies within us. We may not be able to explain the miracles of Jesus’ earthly ministry to their satisfaction, but we should be able to able explain our faith in the risen Christ. Being peculiar for peculiar’s sake is not required in a Christian. Our peculiarity lies in the fact that we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Good books such as, “Why I Believe,” by D. James Kennedy should be on the shelf of every teacher.