Responsibilities of Teachers in Christian Schools

Notes from a principal’s desk

By Roy W. Lowrie, Jr.

The Christian Teacher (1959)

The term “exercise” in educational psychology refers to the periodic repetition of that which is being taught so that it may be learned by the student. Such exercise is the purpose of the Scriptures which say, “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” (II Peter 1:12) Our responsibilities as Christian School teachers are shared with you in the spirit of exercise.

We have many responsibilities and instead of elaborating on a few there will be a presentation of several in embryonic form. These are seed thoughts, intended for growth. They are not sequential but synchronous.

We must trust God alone for everything. There are problems involving parents, pupils, staff, building, equipment, supplies. We must say with David, “My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is of Him.” (Psalm 62:5) Our faith is in God, not in the parents and patrons of the school.

We must serve God in sincerity and in truth without hypocrisy, play acting, masquerading, Pharisaism. The Christian teacher can not be among the lukewarm of our time who draw near to God with their lips but have removed their heart far from Him.

As Christian teachers we must study our academic subjects. Our graduates are competing with their peers on the basis of their academic education. This education must be thorough, not trading off on the fact that our school has a Christian philosophy. (Try running a regular report card on yourself. Mark the way you have taught the subject.)

The believing teacher must study the Word of God. We know God through His Word. Such knowledge is gained by prayerful study and is kept warm by a devoted heart. We never graduate from such study.

We must do all things without murmuring. Not just the things which come easily, but the tasks and situations which are irritating or unreasonable, the burrs under the saddle, are to be done with no outer or inner grousing.

Things are to be done heartily as to the Lord and not unto men. In certain areas and at certain times the teacher is very much on his own as far as human supervision is concerned. If we do our best work only when supervised we do it with eye service as men pleasers and not as unto God.

We are to endure any hardness involved in our work as soldiers. There are hardships of facilities, misunderstandings, finances. Our Father does not always deliver us from these straits but receives glory to Himself as we endure in the straits of testings and buffetings. He understands our feelings, for Christ’s testings were as ours. And our attitude means much to those we teach.

Our problems must be solved. There is much to be done in the areas of philosophy, curriculum, discipline, organization, relationships. Perpetuation of the status quo is not progress. Additional effort must be expended in prayer and work until we reach solutions. We adjust ourselves too easily to live with problems which should really be mastered.

Sin must be reproved. We are in error when we make the way of the transgressor easy. Wrong is wrong regardless of the children or adults involved. The truth must always be spoken.

Christian teachers must pray for guidance. Experience never supplants the need to seek counsel at the mouth of the Lord. Dare we stand before our children without first waiting upon God? Is it right to start faculty meetings without first spreading the matters out before the Lord?

Standing before the class is a partial work. The work is completed in the closet where as Epaphras we labor fervently in prayer that our students may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. We have engaged the evil one in battle. To pray well is to fight well. The class without the closet will fail, be not deceived.

We are to help one another in prayer and in actual work. Burden sharing cuts across any lines of job descriptions and gets things done. The members of the body must help one another.

Though God’s instrument, the teacher must decrease, being careful not to recruit personal disciples. Though we are shepherds, the sheep are His and must be trained to be fed by Him and to be guided by Him. The good teacher, as well as the average, must take care to recognize that all glory is to God and He is the One who must increase.

The teacher’s first concern is his own personal holiness before the Lord. To maintain a continuous, living fellowship with Almighty God through our Lord Jesus Christ is his primary responsibility and is the prerequisite to representing the Lord Jesus before our children in the classroom, in fellowship with other teachers in the day-by-day routine of the school, and in cooperation with the parents and their representative body, the board of trustees.

The Christian School is not the building but the men and women of God who teach. Teaching is not the act of a moment but the outpouring of a life.

“Father, may the life outpoured to our Christian School students be that of Christ.”

Last updated by Lisa Lanpher Mar 12, 2013.

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