The Seven Laws of the Teacher
The Seven Laws of the Teacher
When I looked at the book, at first glance, I notice that it wasn’t interesting. I was a bit hesitant to pore over the pages thinking that it’ll be a waste of my time, because for sure, no literary work from the “obsolete corner” of the library fits my taste except that of C. S. Lewis. But nevertheless, I knew I have to, so I flipped the pages lest I will end up guessing the time I start the reflection. I decided not to jump over the foreword, but to my chagrin it didn’t convince me much to pursue my reading; perhaps only a little bit, because the foreword was from Bruce Wilkinson.
Meanwhile, as I pore further, I got on to the real thing then my senses lit up – the taste wasn’t that bad. The book I thought was no worthwhile, but by the time I got into it, I sensed the need, and a distinct voluptuousness in reading. As a result, it only took me one and a half day to accomplish my pursuit. The statements I had written below are in a concise form perpetuating my caustic insights from what I gleaned so far about the matter and the manner of teaching.
I chose not to give an opinion or reflection on every principle, instead I ponder upon which I think is helpful and significant to me, so to lessen my burdens of thinking what to write. Real thing: To start this over with, I would like to confess that throughout the course I have failed to notice such principles that I have now put such a great importance in my life. Perhaps, the reason was me – my character. I’m afraid I had become adept of shutting ? of my entire senses from minor courses (non-biblical).
And for this reason, I regret so much of passing by very relevant lessons but learning fewer than what I should have. I did not expect that the book will convince me to appreciate the principles of teaching, and its significant relationship from where I’m at. The essence of the book met me down to my deepest needs. In the first chapter for instance, I was reminded of living above the level of mediocrity. The first law reiterated the lesson I’ve learned from Rev. Charles Invidiado, although he states it in another way – “you cannot give what you do not have. Apparently, the message implies a direct dispute to the common run-of-the-mill attitude. Simply say, you cannot impart what you don’t possess; thus you have to work hard to have something to impart. This principle must well demonstrate in the learning process, whereas the teacher can be illustrated as running water. He/she must never stop flowing; otherwise the learning process stops from being effective and worthwhile. Therefore, in the light of the said principle, nobody can claim the role of a teacher unless he/she first become a diligent learner.
Learning makes so effective the educator’s teaching, and possible the learner’s prolific development. Pondering over the message I looked back to what I’d learned so far. In a little while I gained vision of my entire Ebenezer experience. It was rough, heavy, arduous and tiresome, but when I looked closely at the picture, it was void; all I can see is the frame. What could have caused me to learn fewer than what I should’ve learnt? I’ve been in the throes of learning and studying, how come I learned less, isn’t the “no pain no gain” apply in this course?
Perhaps, that principle would’ve contributed greatly to define success, but it is not all there is. Sacrifices or hardship is just one out of many facets in learning. In fact, I think my sacrifices that I often murmur about, cannot resemble that of the educator’s burden in teaching. For some reason I failed to see the other party’s effort. Perhaps, relationship is the missing line that waits to be filled. I never thought of it to have a great deal in the success of teaching. Between the educator and the learner is a chasm that separates both worlds and has to be scraped together.
In that hollow space between two individuals lays words left unsaid, unsettled suspicions that could only be remediated by a cordial dialogue, and interests unfulfilled because no one ever dared to get intimate. If somehow this is true, then who’s responsible to do the reaching? The third law stated it this way, “the way people learn determines how you teach”. More to the point, the idea that a bright educator is most efficacious in providing the best way possible to guide the learners in fulfilling their education is false.
Therefore if this is the case, it is not all wisdom and skills that embodies teaching but also attitude. I am no less than convince of this, for I admit, I’m an adamant student. I don’t easily yield on principles. For me, it has to be reasonable; if somebody says so and so, he is not making any significant change unless what he taught is demonstrated in love of his pupils. The teacher I admire the most is the one who cares and understands his pupil’s concern and never to disregard them. In him for sure, the learner’s hostility will melt away; thus for sure the learner will be vulnerable to learning.
Finally, the most interesting principle: an ideal teacher is a model of good. This principle can be associated with “walk the talk”, in church’s terms. There’s something out of what we do that convinces our listeners to believe in what we say. We could talk and talk about all the important principles in life via impressing terms and astounding display of wisdom, but it is not what we are made for and surely it doesn’t convince our listeners that much. Communicators are to impact lives, not just to impress people.
Perhaps, this is the most challenging part. As for me and to all of us, it is far easier to communicate than to act on what we are communicating about. And there’s no easier way to impact people than by doing what we say. Isn’t that complicated? Yes it is. But nevertheless, an aspiring teacher must never fall too short of this qualification. It is said in the Scriptures that a teacher is judged even more strictly than the commoners, and must be more careful of what he say, for he will be held accountable in all of that.
Now I understand why I often caught myself a hundred miles out of the classroom in every session. Not because our educators are not knowledgeable enough to make the matter interesting, but it’s just that, knowledge, skills, attitude and application – at all cost – must sync together so to make the learning satisfactory. I think I will end with this. Teaching, so far, is the most wonderful art I’d ever encountered and appreciated, and the most complex one. It attempts to polymerize two distinct individuals in a contrive milieu without disregarding their respective complexity as humans.
On the other hand, the discipline of learning isn’t exclusively demanded in the part of learners – as what I have believed for a long time – but most importantly, learning must, at first hand, be observed in the lives of our great educators. Learning is not only limited in the mind. Character, outlook, spirituality, and attitude, are all product of it. When all of these are strung together and produced a good harmony, we can therefore conclude that the teaching pursuits are relatively fulfilled and thus bore a good fruit.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 9 October 2016
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