A Woman's Voice

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ Pointing The Way ~ April 28, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY by doloresayotte on April 28, 2011
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At times, I know that I have a somewhat different philosophy on life than other individuals.  I have always considered myself to be a teacher even before I had formal credentials.  Although I left the classroom many years ago, the classroom has never left me.  I feel like I am now very much “a teacher without walls”. When I did teach elementary school, we used to have “show & tell” on a regular basis. The children loved this little practice, as I am sure they still do to this day, in many classrooms around the world.

I think the children enjoyed when another child had a story to tell but I think they especially enjoyed when they had something to show. This visual aid made their story all the more enjoyable. As teachers, we also had a little saying that goes something like this. Tell me and I forget… Show me and I remember… Involve me and I learn. It has been my experience that telling someone what we think or believe may not always leave the mark we want it to. Showing them by leading with our example may have a greater impact and others will probably get a better idea of our message. Involving these individuals in what we are trying to teach will indeed have the greatest effect.

One of the things I have come to realize is that when we involve others, it is necessary to know when to get out-of-the-way so that they can see the path clearly ahead. A good teacher needs to know when to “back off” and let the student forge ahead on their own. If we are constantly pointing the way, we could very well be hampering the student’s line of vision and future learning experiences. Therefore, at some point, we may actually be doing them more harm than good.

Part of being more than a good teacher is knowing when to stop teaching and “let go…let God”.   The time when good teachers become great ones is when we figure this out. Do you know when to “back off”  when necessary or “teach” when needed?  It is no easy feat to discern. Therefore, being the most effective teacher may be a task similar to doing a balancing act or walking a tight rope. It’s a slippery slope to say the least.

There is also a very fine line between what is seen as preaching versus teaching. Preaching may have a negative connotation if it isn’t done in the right setting.  We must be in tune, not only with ourselves but with those around us, in order to achieve the best results. Effective teaching usually has a way of positively involving others.  I’m not so sure that preaching is seen in this same light. Preaching by our peers can be seen as a lot about telling and very little about showing or involving. Being told what to do or how to behave doesn’t always achieve the desired positive results. We all have the opportunity to teach or to preach in our everyday lives. What I’m suggesting, is that we take a moment and ask ourselves how we’re coming across.  


4 Responses to 'THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ Pointing The Way ~ April 28, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte'

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  1. Jan said,

    Totally true. We have to be very careful of how we treat each other. The Holy Spirit can guide us in all our conversations. If we love everyone then this love will be showing how much Jesus loves all of us. Respecting the feelings and thoughts of others needs to be first and foremost when interacting with them.
    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

    • Thank you Jan for your feedback concerning this topic. I do agree that the Holy Spirit can guide us in all our interactions with others. Discernment is the key in learning how to respect the feelings and thoughts of those around us.

  2. Charles Betts said,

    Dolores; I enjoyed your blog on teaching. I taught Sunday school for many years to young teen-agers. I found that if they knew you cared and were kind to them they responded well. I came across a saying years ago that says ” people will not care how much you know until they know how much you care”. I find this to be true. Another saying that I developed myself over the years after seeing such a wide array of responses to lessons is this “A lesson taught is not always a lesson learned” In other words, no matter the quality of the teaching or the lesson itself, some people just will not learn from it. All we can do is teach well, the others must learn well. With God’s help the two will meet on common ground. Have a great day, Charles Betts

    • Thank you Charles for your positive feedback. I always enjoy hearing from you as you share so much from your personal experiences that we can all relate to and enjoy. You give wonderful examples from your past that paint a very clear picture of what your message is. This is also an effective teaching tool not only for me but for my readers too. Blessings to you and yours.

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