You've studied for hours over many days or weeks, you've prepared and repaired your lesson a dozen times, your PowerPoint is on point, with animations synced with your presentation, and now is the moment you've been waiting for... class time.
Unfortunately, having the right information is only a third of the picture when it comes to teaching.
Your actual presentation is also important. Are the words you use effective, or are you droning on and on while loosing your audience? Of course, no teacher expects to win an academy award for best lecture series, but if you are not engaging then you are wasting time. Do you ask engaging questions? Are you familiar enough with the subject material to field questions during the presentation? Are you familiar enough with your presentation to walk away from the podium or your notes and keep eye contact with your students?
However, having the right information and becoming an engaging presenter is still only two thirds of the picture.
The biggest third of being an effective teacher is, "how much does the material speak to you"? How does the material affect you personally? How does it relate to your life? How passionate are you about your material?
I've heard gun enthusiasts speak for lengths of time about the political ramifications of our 2nd amendment, which grants free citizens the right to keep and bear arms. I've heard computer enthusiasts speak about components of the computer and how things are constantly changing in the pursuit of speed. I've heard weather enthusiasts talk about weather patterns and models. I used to teach about relational databases, back when Access was the hot thing to use in the office.
The thing that separates an adequate speaker or teacher from a great teacher is how passionate they are about their subject, and can they bring the ideas into a realm that their listeners can relate to. Can you as a teacher build a bridge from the wealth of knowledge to the minds of your students that they want to cross?
King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." What Solomon was referring to was the exchange of ideas. In the next verse he says "Is there a thing of which it is said, 'See, this is new'? It has been already in the ages before us." Solomon knew that there would be improvements on things, and other things would be replaced with new methods, only to be rediscovered in the future.
As teachers, we don't usually come up with brand new information, or new discoveries that have never before been taught. Rather than trying to come up with new information, what we should focus on is how to engage our students with new ways of connecting information to them on the level they are at.
Why is it that colleges and universities have applications, and review ACT or SAT scores, and review your High School transcripts? It's because not everyone can learn at the level that is being taught. The Discipleship Center is by no means trying to teach at a college level, nevertheless we are primarily a learning opportunity. We can not take everyone who is broken and fix them, but for candidates who show a desire to learn and work, we can help correct wrong thinking patterns, help break addictions, and show how to live as a productive adult who follows Jesus Christ as their guide. This learning opportunity can prepare them to enter into the workforce, or may help them prepare to enter college.
If you would like to know more about The Discipleship Center you can visit our website at www.discipleshipctr.org and while you're there, we invite you to look at all of our classes for free by clicking on the classes tab and registering as a student. Your beta testing of our classes, is an important step in helping us continue to polish the learning segments of our mission.