In order to honor our teachers’ desire to grow in their craft and their desire to prepare students for a life of learning, we are improving our teacher development program. It is our desire that the program function as a society where collegiality and friendship drives our efforts to learn. Leadership will participate in the program and teachers will teach teachers.
With this society at the heart of our school, we hope to create a learning community, for parents, teachers, staff, and administrators who love to learn. You can read more about this plan here.
An Upper School Teacher’s Perspective on A Society of Teachers
Anyone can teach! I mean, how hard can it be? Only those who “can’t do” end up in the classroom anyway, right? Wrong! While most any person can explain or demonstrate how to accomplish some particular task, only those in possession of specific gifts and skills serve as effective teachers. Effective teachers not only engage and motivate their students to learn, but they inspire their students to continue learning for a lifetime. God bestows the gift of teaching on some people and not all. And yet even those of us who possess the gift of teaching require additional training to develop and hone our skills and abilities. Teaching is both a science and an art. An excellent teacher enters a classroom armed with both subject area expertise and an understanding of how students learn. In addition, an excellent teacher knows how to captivate and excite their students in the same way that a talented artist or performer captivates an audience.
As a professional educator I yearn for opportunities to grow in my understanding of how students learn and to sharpen my pedagogical skills, so I was delighted when Mr. Hinton unveiled the Society of Teachers professional development program. The program encompasses three facets or domains: A Community Mindset, The Master Teacher Skill Set, and The Classical and Christian Graduate. And while I love that we as a faculty will be focusing on all three, I am particularly excited about The Master Teacher Skill Set.
As I mentioned above, successful, effective teachers utilize proven strategies, methodologies, and skills in the classroom that require continued development. In “The Master Teacher Skill Set,” we as a faculty will discuss the importance of the teacher-student relationship and how to strengthen that relationship. In addition, we will deepen our understanding of the teaching and learning process, analyzing how students learn and how to employ strategies and methodologies that enable students to reach extraordinary outcomes. I am excited to participate in the Society of Teachers program and am honored to assist in developing our teachers at Cary Christian School. The implementation of the Society of Teachers professional development program will stimulate growth amongst our faculty leading to increased excellence in classroom instruction and ultimately leading to student success. Please be in prayer for us as a faculty that we would receive instruction well and bring glory to God in all that we do, including our professional endeavors.
– Darla McDonald, Rhetoric School Science Teacher
A Lower School Teacher’s Perspective on A Society of Teachers
Believe it or not, I was a property maintenance specialist with a paint company for eight years. Then I was a stay at home mom for five years; and somewhere in the middle, God put it on my heart to be a teacher. So for two years I went back to school and got my master’s degree in Elementary Education. I’m very grateful for these life experiences and I see how God is using all these events for good in my life and in the classroom. Being a teacher is the fulfillment of what I know for absolute certain God has called me to be and it gives me such a deep sense of peace and overflowing wellspring of joy.
That being said, I take my “job” very seriously. I say job but to me it is a mission, a ministry, and a holy calling. I am operating under direct orders from the King of kings to train up an army of Gospel-saturated, Christ-exalting, Truth-loving, Joy-filled fifth graders. Not only that, but they need to know how to add fractions, make inferences while reading a novel, spell “zoologist,” and a few other things! It is hard to put into words how important it is to me to do this well. Our world is in dire need of a generation of believers who can divide the Word of God rightly, be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves. God has entrusted me not only with two precious children of my own but 21 precious children of yours to partner alongside you in this mission to permeate the earth with the glory of the Lord. Our students at CCS are the ones who are going to change the world.
I am well aware of my shortcomings as a human, and as a teacher there is simply no substitute for on-the-job training. I am so grateful for God’s providence that in my first year of teaching the Society of Teachers has been presented. It gives me accountability and standards to allow me to grow in my profession. The breakdown of skills and character traits by tiers gives me peers and role models to inspire me and demonstrate excellence. Most of all it gives me an exciting, tangible goal to aim for and I promise you, I am running as in such a way to win the prize. How could I not? To hear my Lord say “Well done, good and faithful servant”…to know that not only in my presence but even more in my absence my students are living a life worthy of the Gospel…what a prize! What an immeasurable gift.
So please be praying for us! Pray that our teachers would learn and grow and be more like Jesus every day. Pray that where we are weak God would be strong for us. Pray that our students would have soft hearts and strong minds and an unquenchable thirst for joy in the Lord. Titus 2:7 says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.” When we approach our job as teachers with all of our heart to work unto the Lord, we show our students that our standards for them are the same as for ourselves. “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings” (Proverbs 22:9). I pray God will continually grow and sharpen me as a teacher that I may stand before my 5th grade “kings” and declare His glory.
– Cindy Mathews, 5th Grade Teacher