The Bible Teaching program is designed in such a way that it builds over the course of four years, reaching its climax during the final semester of the senior year. Everything the program entails is preparation for nine weeks of student teaching.It’s hard to believe, but I just completed my student teaching assignment – a quarter of a school year learning about the life of Paul with Ben Lippen School seventh grade students. To say it was an outstanding experience would be an understatement, but it would also be minimized if it said it was easy. Here are a few things I learned along the way:
- Serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2). We serve the Lord by serving others and if we view life through this lens, each day is full of opportunities to serve God. Even the “mundane” can provide a chance to worship – the challenge is carrying out these tasks gladly for the Lord.
- God will complete the work He started. One of the challenges of this experience was encountering spiritual apathy in the classroom. Sometimes I wondered whether the students cared; at other times I didn’t even have to wonder. I had to remind myself that ministry is stepping into what God is doing, not vice versa. Whether or not I get to see it, I believe God is at work in their lives and will be faithful to bring that work to completion.
- The most important part of teaching doesn’t happen in the classroom. I learned quickly that writing a great lesson plan or coming up with creative activities were of significantly less value than nurturing my own personal relationship with Jesus. The most important thing I could do for those students happened in the quiet of the morning, long before I showed up to teach. Getting to know Jesus better and being changed by Him form a solid foundation upon which everything else in life – relationships, ministry, etc. – can stand secure.