In Part 1, I shared that over the years, I have seen many lists of teacher characteristics and even written about them on several occasions. Recently I came across another list in an article entitled Can You Describe a Good Teacher? by Billie Davis. In Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series, I shared Davis’ first seven characteristics. In Part 3, I will share the final four characteristics and brief statement in all capitals followed by my commentary applying them to a good Sunday School teacher:
INNOVATION. AGGRESSIVE PURSUIT OF IMPROVEMENT. CONTINUOUS SEARCHING. CREATIVITY. IMAGINATION. Good teachers are learners who are willing to try new things. They look for new ways of teaching and leading not for newness-sake but for greater impact and effectiveness. Good teachers desire to stretch themselves and those they teach. They see the potential for more and better and they strive in that direction.
OBJECTIVITY. NOT PERSONAL OR DEFENSIVE. CONSIDERS FACTS. DOES NOT REACT IMPULSIVELY.Good Sunday School teachers are measured in their response to questions, concerns, and even attacks. They are concerned about people and weigh facts and possible motives before responding. They desire to build up, support, and encourage in all they do, in and out of class. Good teachers take a long-term perspective rather than moving so quickly that mistakes are made.
ORGANIZATION. DESIRE FOR COMPLETENESS. DISLIKE OF SLOPPY OR UNFINISHED WORK. Personally and corporately, good Sunday School teachers are holistic in their approach. They are not just focused on teaching-learning session on Sunday. Rather they are involved in the all aspects of the class: reaching, caring, fellowships, worker enlistment and training, apprenticing, assimilation, and more. But a good teacher also does not do all the work himself/herself. He/she seeks out God-called persons within the class to give direction to these significant areas of responsibility. But the good teacher does not withdraw from the work because he/she understands the importance of example. Also, the teacher understands the importance of doing everything well from start to finish.
GOAL ORIENTATION. HAS FOCUS. SELECTS ACTIVITIES AND STRATEGIES IN TERMS OF GOALS. SELECTS DEFINITE MODELS. IN CHRISTIAN CONTEXT THIS MEANS TO BASE TEACHING ON JESUS’ MODEL; UNDERSTAND AND BE DEVOTED TO THE GOALS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION. The good Sunday School teacher is not afraid of goals. In fact, he/she thrives in leading the class to contact, pray for, care for, and reach more people and to pursue other goals. The teacher is able to discern needs and recognize goals and steps needed for the class and organization to continue to grow spiritually and numerically. The good teacher is constantly striving to understand and practice his/her responsibility better.
As a teacher, which of these four characteristics is your strongest? Celebrate it! Which characteristic needs a bit more work? Ask God to help you address it. What can you do to strengthen it this week? Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series for seven more characteristics. Be empathetic. Work out of your sense of mission. Communicate well. Be revolutionary!