“There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.” ~ Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky
Or is it, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Whatever the case may be, we as educators need to constantly be evaluating and evolving our craft to reach our students at any given point in the school year. This has to be done. Just because we’re in the latter portion of our school year, doesn’t mean that we can continue to do what we’ve done all year and wait for the end to come.
“The nature, condition, and needs of the student provide the focal point for Christian educational philosophy and direct educators toward the goals of Christian education…A distinctively Christian philosophy can never lose sight of the importance of human individuality as it seeks to relate education to the learner.” ~ George R. Knight
I believe too many view the school year as a “hill”. We made it to the top of the hill at semester. Now all we have to do is cruise down the other side until we reach the bottom at the end of the year. Rather, we need to view our school year like Mount Everest. The ultimate goal is to get to the top, and the top is the end of the school year. We need to view our school year and our students with this perspective: This is the first time in their lives that they are at this point in their educational career. Whether they are in Kindergarten or 12th grade, they have never been at this point, right here, right now. So what are you going to do to help them reach the pinnacle?
The needs of our students are constantly changing. Who they were in September may not be who they are now. We need to constantly be looking at ways to reach our students every day. In one of our morning devotions this week, one of our teachers spoke to how we approach God, either through Revelation or our own Imagination. Likewise, how are we approaching our own personal philosophy of education? Is it our expectation that students will climb the mountain by themselves to reach the pinnacle of knowledge aswe wait for them at the top? Or, are we climbing with them? They may run in to some terrain that is unfamiliar. They may not have the tools to overcome the difficulty of the climb. Not because they are lazy, but because they haven’t been given instruction or trained properly to overcome those obstacles. When adventurists climb Mount Everest, they are aware that at any given moment, the weather can change. Even when they are just a few hundred yards from the peak, they may have to change course, or even turn back. You know what? It’s the time of year when we all start to get weary from the “climb”. Energy seems to be fading. Our student’s mental muscles are fatigued. The challenge before us is to be right by their side, providing the encouragement, knowledge, and when needed, an extended hand to help pull them up. Remember, just because you’re a veteran climber, your students may not be. This is still new territory for them, and for some, they are facing an uphill climb that seems daunting. What are you going to do to assist them to make it to the top?
As we look at the major events in history, they were forged by those who decided to look at the impossible, and move forward without weighing the impossibilities. They are the one’s who first put their feet it the dirt and created the pathways for all else to follow. This needs to be your mentality in your classroom. Back in September you said, “Let’s climb this mountain! I know it’s scary. I know you may not feel equipped for this challenge. But you know what? I am, and I’ll be with you for the entire climb.” Now you need to reassure them and say, “Let’s finish this! We’re almost there. I can see the peak, and when we get there, it’s gong to be the most satisfying experience you’ve ever had.”
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”…”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:5,9