Spiritual Teaching Philosophy

As a young teacher, I find my educational philosophy constantly changing; however, the central belief to which I teach from always stays constant: to the highest of my ability I aim to teach truth, and do it in honour of the Lord, being a vessel of His word through my word, actions, and attitude.  That being said, I find that my educational philosophy then rests on four major pillars that are central to everything I do in the classroom.

  1. Education for Exultation

“Exultation that does not flow from education, affections that do not flow from knowing, savouring that does not flow from seeing, feeling that does not flow from thinking – are hollow and rootless – noisy gongs and clanging symbols.  And God is not glorified by artificial and empty passions.  True delight is rooted in true doctrine.  God-centred Exultation is rooted in God-centred Education.”
~John Piper

It is important for me to fully exult myself in all of my passions, while also planting seeds in all of my students and peers.  I think it’s important to truly encourage my students to take pride in who they are, and to dedicate theirselves full-heartedly to everything they love, but while doing so also know that they are praising God.  As according to John Piper, Education for Exultation means we must know God truly, and we must respond with our affections duly.  We were created and redeemed to know and enjoy God, with the knowing as the foundation of the enjoying.  God isn’t glorified by artificial and empty passions – whatever we partake in, we must devote ourselves completely to it, and to persevere until we succeed.

2.  Diligence

“I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of youth.”
~ Martin Luther

Students have an endless amount of knowledge at their fingertips.  If there is an easy way out of something, students know how to take it.  But just because something takes a lot of hard-work and effort, doesn’t mean it’s insignificant or worthless.  I think that diligence is one of the most important attributes of a person – it is a heavenly gift that has been endowed upon a person.  Diligence is mandatory for success, and is needed in all aspects of life.  In my classroom students will be motivated and encouraged to always be persistent and always putting hard work and effort into everything they tackle.

3. Truth

“A Christian child can learn mathematics, for example, from a teacher who is not a Christian; and truth is truth however learned.  But while truth is truth however learned, the bearing of truth, the meaning of truth, the purpose of truth, even in the sphere of mathematics, seem entirely different to the Christian from that which they seem to the non-Christian; and that is why a truly Christian education is possible only when Christian conviction underlies not a part but all, off the curriculum of the school.”
~John Gresham Machen

Children today are growing up in a national culture that does not have a biblical worldview.  Those of us who identify with a Christian faith are now not the majority, and many that identify with the Christian faith unfortunately don’t have a biblical worldview.  As according to Tammie Lenz, a biblical worldview is defined as agreeing with the following statements: 1. Jesus lived a sinless life, 2. God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules today, 3. Salvation is a free gift and cannot be earned, 4. Satan is real, 5. A Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people, and 6. The Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.  Raising children who know, love, and serve God is something parents need help doing, especially since there are many parents who are first generation believers themselves.  That’s where the community, including teachers, come in.  Children’s ministries, including education, are a vital aspect for equipping the next generation of believers with the true message of Christ.  A biblical worldview matters, because our ideas have consequences, and shape our morals and values, which in turn determine our actions.

4.  Opportunity

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”
~ Sydney J. Harris

From my teaching experience, I find that students are often discouraged because they take on many burdens without seeing the silver lining of the situation.  Rather than focusing on the door that closed, it’s important to look for the window that opened.  Knowledge is the key to everything: power, success, the breaking of cycles.  We as educators should be teaching our students that there is nothing more important than education and learning, especially in a God-fearing setting.  When we know and understand God, we stop viewing the out of reach goals as an opportunity missed, but as an opportunity too small for us.