When I was in my Bachelor of Education degree program, a professor shared a quote with my classmates and I that had a big impact on my development as an educator and how I view the teaching – learning process. The quote is simple, memorable, and can easily sum up the attitude of many students today: “Nobody cares what you know, until they know that you care.” Over the 20 years that have followed, I have not lost my appreciation for this quote, which is attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, as I believe it gets to the core of teaching and learning in Christian schools: relationships.
My 7 years of full-time teaching and 15 years in administration have provided me ample evidence that teaching is about creating relationships and learning is about entering into relationships. Effective teaching requires a relationship between the teacher and the subjects they are teaching and between them and their students. In this way, a teacher’s main challenge becomes to create a bond and facilitate a relationship between the students and the subjects they are teaching which can hopefully deepen and develop even without their leading. Consequently, learning requires students to enter into relationships with their peers, their teachers, and the subjects they are being taught. While all these relationships are vitally important, we believe that the most important relationship we have is with our Heavenly Father who calls us all, regardless of our age, His children.
It has been exciting over the first few weeks of this school year to see relationships of all kinds beginning to form and grow and to have times like this past Friday morning’s chapel to concentrate on deepening our relationship with our Father God.