My husband and I are tennis fans. In fact, we plan our yearly vacation around the Wimbledon schedule so that we can watch the iconic tournament on the large flat screen television at the beach house. What a treat! But last year, we encountered something that revolutionized our tennis viewing forever: hi-definition television!
We arrived at our vacation destination to discover that our accommodations had HDTV. I clicked on ESPN and felt like I was the ball boy standing behind Roger Federer as he served. I could see every hair on his arm as he tossed the ball. I could feel the rush of air as he swung the racket to rip a 130 mph serve. Okay, well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point – the hi-definition picture made everything bigger and brighter and brought into focus those things that we might otherwise not notice at all.
It occurs to me that teaching is a lot like high-definition tv: bringing God’s world into sharp focus and highlighting the things that might be overlooked.
So, how can we be hi-def teachers?
- Invest in the right equipment
Even the strongest hi-def signal won’t display on a standard television. Are we investing in the right “equipment” to help our students see the world through the lens of Scripture? Are we continually evaluating our worldview to make sure we’re equipped to focus our teaching on Christ? Do we pursue professional development opportunities to strengthen our pedagogy skills? Do we collaborate with other teachers? What books do we read?
- Avoid interference
Hi-def pictures require clear signals. What could be interfering with our ability to bring our students a high-definition classroom experience? Disorganization? Fatigue? Lack of preparation? Weak classroom management skills? A “just-get-by” attitude? What do we need to work on to make sure our students are getting sharp, focused lessons?
- Plug into the right source
Even the most advanced HD television won’t display a hi-definition picture without being connected to the right signal. So it is with teachers. It is imperative that we remain constantly connected to our source of all strength – our heavenly Father. Daily prayer and Scripture reading, Sunday worship, service, family devotions. These Christian disciplines strengthen us in our faith and keep our focus where it should be. When we rely on our experience, our laurels, or our own strength, we jeopardize our ability to bring our students a focused picture of the truth of God.
As Christian educators, we have the responsibility – and opportunity – to focus the attention of our students on the things that really matter! Let’s not be content to teach in standard definition!
What can we do to teach in HD?
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