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Educating for Eternity

By: Katelyn Antuna

Life of a Teacher
Philosophy of Education
Chad Bernard
April 30, 20!
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, (2
Timothy 2:2 !"#$%& All true follo'ers of (od are teachers in one 'ay or another& Therefore,
education has become an important sub)ect of study and practice for me& As a young music
teacher, *abbath school teacher, and elementary teacher, for the past seven years + have learned
some of the principles of true education through e,perience and study& This paper is an attempt
to share my understanding of education through my e,periences and the -ible and *pirit of
/hen + thin0 of an e,ample of the purpose of education, one of my first students comes
to mind& 1is blond hair flopped as he bounced into the classroom& The chairs and des0s rattled
and bumped 'hen he ran up to my des0 'ith an undersi2ed, shredded, blac0 case in one dirty
hand& 3,citement beamed from his mud strea0ed face, and his blue eyes shouted at me before the
'ords could come out of his mouth: Teacher, teacher4 + got a violin4 A violin4 + can have
lessons no'4 5 and that 'as the beginning of our )ourney& Together 'e than0ed the Lord each
time 'e met, 'e 'ashed our hands before 'e played, 'e stood up straight, 'e learned the notes,
'e played for church, and 'e both learned to listen and to e,press& All of these things 'ere a
part of the education process 5 me as a teacher imparting information and him as a student
ma0ing me a better teacher& The real education, ho'ever, 'as more than that&
*everal 'ee0s later my pupil came in again& 3,uberance bounced in his step and
e,citement snapped in his eyes, but there 'as no bumping violin case or rattling des0s& 1is hair
still flopped and + could tell he had )ust come from the garden, but 1e straightened a chair as he
strode to the des0 and clean hands 'ith trimmed nails unpac0ed his violin& /ith a strong and
sincere voice he prayed before 'e played&
/hat had happened6 7y student had begun to e,perience true education& 1is 'hole
person 'as gro'ing, not )ust his musical talent& This gro'th of the entire person is the purpose
of education& 3llen /hite states it clearly in her boo0 Education:
True education does not ignore the value of scientific 0no'ledge or literary
acquirements8 but above information it values po'er8 above po'er, goodness8
above intellectual acquirements, character, (3ducation 229&:%&
True education is not only about relaying information, imparting s0ill, or preparing for the
perfect )ob& The main purpose of true education is training character& /hen + taught my student
violin, he received the natural benefits that come 'ith music lessons: increased language
development and +;, a more diligent and focused mind, better spatial<temporal s0ills, and others,
(-enefits of 7usic%& !o' he 'ill have music both as a tool and for en)oyment for the rest of
his life& !one of those things, ho'ever, 'ere the focus of my lesson plans or the focus of my
student=s motivation& +t 'as not a desire to be a professional musician or for better grades that
caused my student to learn and change& +t 'as developed character 5 diligence, patience,
perseverance, responsibility 5 learned through daily practice and concerted effort, that 0ept my
student on the path to success and helped him learn and master along the 'ay& 7artin Luther
"ing #r& sets the focus this 'ay: /e must remember that intelligence is not enough& +ntelligence
plus character<<that is the goal of true education, ("ing :>%& +n learning, it is not enough to have
0no'ledge, but character must be added as 'ell& +t is important that teachers 0eep this in mind if
they desire to truly educate and impact their students, and the 'ay they can do this is by loo0ing
to a boo0 that has been educating the greatest thin0ers for t'o thousand years 5 the -ible&
The first time the 'ord ?teach= occurs in the -ible, (od is spea0ing to 7oses, the soon to
be leader of an entire nation& 1e says, + 'ill be 'ith your mouth and teach you 'hat you shall
say, (3,o& ::2, !"#$%& +n this simple statement are many principles of true education& @irst of
all, it starts 'ith (od& 1e is the source of all 0no'ledge 5 the source of true education: The fear
of the LABC is the beginning of 'isdom, and the 0no'ledge of the 1oly Ane is understanding,
(.rov& D::>, !"#$%& To come to 0no' (od is to learn& 1e 0no's the end from the beginning and
every secret thing, (+s& E::>8 3cc& :2::%, and 1e is the ultimate 3ducator& 3ven Fhrist 'hen 1e
came to the 'orld came to educate& 3llen /hite shares, Fhrist came to demonstrate the value of
the divine principles by revealing their po'er for the regeneration of humanity& 1e came to teach
ho' these principles are to be developed and applied, (3ducation GG&:%& Fhrist came to teach,
and if 'e are to teach effectively, 1e must be the foundation and source of our teaching&
(od revealed 1is authorship of 0no'ledge and education to me the first time + 'as as0ed
to teach violin& !ever having taught before, + 'as surprised and nervous, but + agreed to at least
help the teenage girl 'ho 'anted lessons& To this day + do not remember 'hat 'e 'ent over that
first day, but + do remember the student blo'ing me a'ay 'hen at the end she said + should be a
professional violin teacher& /hat struc0 me the most, ho'ever, 'as that she did not praise me
for a superior teaching method or quality musicianship& Although non<Fhristian, she than0ed me
for my maturity, and attributed that to my faith in (od& + 'as ama2ed that (od could be seen
through me in a simple music lesson& Het, 'hen + taught, Fhrist 'as indeed seen, because Fhrist
1imself is a teacher < 1e came to teach 5 and in the 'or0 of a teacher (od, the source of all
0no'ledge, is sho'n& To 0no' that (od is the source of your ability and 0no'ledge and po'er
is the first step to true education, and the ne,t is connecting to that *ource&
Fontinuing in the e,ample of (od teaching 7oses in 3,odus , not only is (od present
in and the source of the education process, but 1e gives assurance that 1e is 'ith the student < in
this case, 7oses& 1e says that 1e 'ill be 'ith his mouth, 'ith him& This is a 0ey prerequisite of
true education& (od must be 'ith the teacher 5 'or0ing through them, and 'ith the student 5
'or0ing in them& +n #ohn ::2E #esus says: I-ut the 1elper, the 1oly *pirit, 'hom the @ather
'ill send in 7y name, 1e 'ill teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things
that + said to you, (!"#$%& +t is through connection 'ith the 1oly *pirit that the learning of all
things comes8 therefore 1is presence is a necessary prerequisite for success in any teaching
situation& This is 'hy + pray before every class and as0 for 1is help&
@or this reason, + must al'ays be connected to (od through a daily, devotional
relationship if + am to be an effective teacher& 7y 'orst classroom e,perience have been on days
'hen + have tried to teach on my o'n before spending time connecting 'ith (od& The 'orst of
these e,periences happened 'hile + 'as teaching grade five& *chool 'as going slo'ly that day,
and my student 'as agitated and distracted& +mpatiently, + tried to remove one of the distractions,
but immediately the student grabbed the ob)ect in both hands& -efore + 0ne' it, + had allo'ed
myself to be suc0ed into an argument 'ith a fifth grader and 'as forcefully removing the
distracting ob)ect from the student=s hands& As soon as + had the ob)ect, + came out of my angry
blur, my mind cleared, and + 'as so ashamed& +, the teacher, had handled the issue li0e a toddler,
and + had responded that 'ay because + 'as disconnected from Fhrist& 1is 1oly *pirit had not
filled me that morning, and + 'as unsurrendered& Anly by a filling of the 1oly *pirit can 'e
teach effectively, 'ith patience and 0no'ledge, and only by the 1oly *pirit can the student learn&
As Cavid says in .salms 29::2: /ho is the man that fears the LABC6 1im shall 1e teach in the
'ay 1e chooses, (!"#$%& *tudents and teachers 'ho hold respect for (od in their hearts are the
0ind of people the Lord 'ill teach and use to teach&
7oses feared the Lord, and because of this, 1e 'as taught and used by (od& /hen (od
said to 7oses, + 'ill teach you 'hat you shall say, 1e 'as beginning the practical training of
one of the greatest teachers in the -ible& 7oses 'as to learn to teach a 'hole nation, and his
training started by (od being 'ith him& The ne,t step 'as speech& (od said 1e 'ould teach
7oses 'hat to say, and this is important in the modern classroom as 'ell& To truly teach is to
listen 'ell, and to truly learn is to be able to spea0 'hat has been learned& This is because, out
of the abundance of the heart the mouth spea0s, (Lu0e E:9 !"#$%& /hen a ne' principle has
been internali2ed, stored in the mind and heart, then the student can share it, spea0 it, and not
only sho' and prove his mastery of the material but also reaffirm his o'n thoughts to himself&
This is 'hy + al'ays have my students repeat bac0 to me 'hat + have assigned them, and 'hy +
encourage them to teach others or give recitals or apply 'hat they are learning to real life&
3ssentially, the principle is that 'hat is learned should be applied, should be acted out, should be
practical& This is so important that 3llen /hite even says, Jseful 'or0 is a valuable education&
+f either this practical education or the study of boo0s must be neglected, let it be the study of
boo0s, and let the student ta0e up the real, practical duties of life, (H+, April G, :KDK par& L%& To
train the character, the ultimate purpose of education, 'hat is taught must be presented
practically, in a 'ay that can be put to practice& *tudy alone 'ill not suffice to mold the mind
and character& Fharacter is made up of daily habits, so if it is to be taught and developed, those
daily habits must be trained and modified practically&
@inally, the goal of educating to develop character is not to simply uplift man or ma0e
our years on this earth nobler& The goal of true education is preparation for eternity& As 3llen
/hite says, the highest education brings about the best development of characterM'hich fits the
soul for eternity:
The highest class of education is that 'hich 'ill give such 0no'ledge and
discipline as 'ill lead to the best development of character, and 'ill fit the soul
for that life 'hich measures 'ith the life of (od& 3ternity is not to be left out of
our rec0oning, (*T 7arch :, :D>> .ar& %&
3ternity must al'ays be the goal, the priority of education& Fhrist made it 1is first goal to
connect man 'ith the infinite (od, and did nothing that 'ould confuse this goal:
1e did not deal in abstract theories, but in that 'hich is essential to the
development of character8 that 'hich 'ill enlarge manNs capacity for 0no'ing
(od, and increase his po'er to do good& 1e spo0e of those truths that relate to the
conduct of life and that unite man 'ith eternity, (3ducation K:&:%&
This is true education: enlarging man=s capacity to 0no' (od, the *ource of 0no'ledge8
increasing man=s po'er to do good by uniting him 'ith the 1oly *pirit8 sharing truths that
practically relate to life8 and in the end, uniting finite humanity 'ith the infinite& This is the
mission of every educator, the )ob description of every follo'er 5 a servant of the Lord mustM
ObeP able to teach, (2 Timothy 2:2 !"#$%&
&or's Cited
-ro'n, Laura L& IThe -enefits of 7usic 3ducation&I PBS& .-*& /eb& 2K Apr& 2>:&
"ing, 7artin L&, #r& The .urpose of 3ducation& Maroon Tiger #anuary<@ebruary (:DG%: :>&
The Holy Bible NKJV New King James Version& .rint&
/hite, 3llen (& Education (!ampa: .acific .ress, 2>>9%8 GG&:, K:&K, 229&:
/hite, 3llen (& Signs of the Times 7arch : (:D>>%: .ar&
/hite, 3llen (& outh !nstructor April G (:KDK%: .ar& L