Teaching & Developing

The ABC’s of Professionalism

Describing a teacher as “one who has a teaching certificate and works in a school” is incomplete and a slight against all others who contribute toward the development of people. Teachers are known by many names such as: mentor, tutor, trainer, advisor, counselor, leader, educator, coach, guide, role model, instructor, advisor, demonstrator, therapist, lecturer, rabbi, preacher, Jesus, supervisor, co-worker, friend, parent, relative, neighbor and author.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” — Charles W. Eliot

“And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.” — Bible, Luke 4:32

In reality, everyone is a teacher and a developer of people in some capacity or another. Teachers are givers. When a teacher shares information with a student who receives and understands its meaning, learning has occurred.

“There are three things to remember when teaching: know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly” — Lola May

Development is a special phenomenon of teaching that goes beyond learning. Transition from learning to development occurs when a teacher helps a student cross the threshold between “potential change” and “actual change” or between “knowledge” and “application.”

“Teaching is what you do to people; development happens within the individual. Teaching is an action; development is a process” — Gary Lear

“Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” — Mark van Doren

This transformation is made possible through the expertise of caring teachers who share knowledge AND inspire students to creatively integrate it with their beliefs and behaviors.

“Change only occurs when the beliefs are impacted” — Gary Lear

“No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value.” — Bertrand Russell

For each of us, as teachers engaged in people-building activities, two questions need to be asked: “What impact can I have?” and “What kind of teacher should I be?”

“Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” — Anonymous

Because learning and development beyond learning are critical to personal and societal success, millions of people train for years and make a lifelong commitment to teaching and learning.  What about the rest? How can we all become a more effective teachers? What kind of teaching model should be adopted by a professional who is not a career teacher? Three words come to mind: enlighten, engage and empower.

Enlighten

Enlightenment is the intellectual dimension of development that presents new information and processes then challenges the student to consider the relevance of both the old and new information as it relates to experiences and current situations. Some would call this “learning to think outside your box.”

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” — Socrates

“Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.” — Ezra Pound

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”— Lloyd Alexander

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”— Kahlil Gibran

Engage

This is the action dimension that creates opportunities for experiences to apply the new information, philosophies and processes so as to produce new and improved results. Some would connect this to the enlighten dimension by saying, “This is where the rubber meets the road.”

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”— Chinese Proverbs

“The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new.”— William Makepeace Thackeray

“We can teach from our experience, but we cannot teach experience.” — Sasha Azevedo

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” — Anonymous

“Every extension of knowledge arises from making the conscious the unconscious.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.” — Mortimer Adler

Empower

This is the emotional dimension. With help from an inspiring teacher, a learner discovers his desire to continue developing and applying new information and processes until they become a new pattern. In response, confidence builds and momentum increases causing real and lasting change to occur.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” — William Arthur Ward

“A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” — Patricia Neal

“The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.” — Thomas Szasz

“In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example – and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved.” — Rupert Murdoch

Enlighten, engage and empower are interdependent dimensions of a comprehensive personal and professional development approach. Enlightenment points the way, but by itself has no action. Engagement and empowerment without enlightenment produces directionless action.  Empowerment breathes the life of momentum into enlightenment and engagement. All three legs are needed for development that goes beyond learning.

Understanding this framework is helpful in selecting an effective teacher. More importantly, adopting them will help you as a professional more effectively fulfill your teaching responsibilities. Take a moment to reflect on the many ways you help teach and develop those who are under your care. Then consider specific ways the Three E’s can help you become a more effective teacher.  In closing, here are more thoughts about teaching, learning and development beyond learning.

“You can teach a dog new tricks for rewards, but developing a better-natured dog will require patience and a want on the behalf of the dog to change.” — Gary Lear

“The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer” — Alice Wellington Rollins

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” — Sydney J. Harris

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”— Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.’” — Dan Rather

“The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.” — Anonymous

“You do not get out of a problem by using the same consciousness that got you into it.”Attributed to Albert Einstein

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”— Alvin Toffler

 

God bless,

— CC

[ S=Service | Index | U=Understand ]

© Copyright December 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Christmas Thoughts

Christmas is a celebration, a date on the calendar, an ideal, a belief, a holiday, a birthday, and a sacred event. Say the word “Christmas” to 100 people and you’ll stir up in them a variety of images and feelings including: joy, love, peace, hope, music, family, gifts, food, snow, candy canes, decorate, preparation, lights, music, Santa Claus, bells, star, candles, vacation, caroling, sleigh, and the Christ child. Before reading the quotes containing these words, Google “Christmas” in your own mind and see what hits you get.

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
— Bible, Mark 1:3

“You can give without loving, but you can not love without giving.”
— John MacArthur

“Next to a circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit.”
— Kin Hubbard (1868-1930)

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace!
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
— Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), “Prayer of St Francis”

O, star of wonder, star of might,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

— Chorus: “We Three Kings”

O candy cane, O candy cane, You’re minty and delightful!
O candy cane, O candy cane, I love you, every biteful.
Your tasty flavor is so sweet.
Your handle makes you fun to eat.
O candy cane, O candy cane, I love your stripes and flavor!
— Sung to the tune of “O Christmas Tree”

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
— Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

“The act of nutrition is not a purely physiological event… The family meal is a formality that cultivates in us… a capacity for sharing, generosity, thoughtfulness, a talent for civilized conversation.”
— Francine Du Plessix Gray

“A good example is like a bell that calls many to church.”
— Danish Proverb

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.”
— Shirley Temple (1928- )

“If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music… and of aviation.”
— Tom Stoppard (1937- )

“Next to theology I give to music the highest place and honor. And we see how David and all the saints have wrought their godly thoughts into verse, rhyme, and song.”
— Martin Luther

Amidst the many sights, sounds, smells and feelings of Christmas, I’m thankful that many people all over the world still make room for Jesus.

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’

“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

— Bible, Luke 2:1-20

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright December 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is almost here.  Are you burned out already?  Hopefully you’ll find something in this post that cheers you up, makes you smile, warms your heart and strengthens your faith.

“There has been only one Christmas – the rest are anniversaries.”
— W.J. Cameron

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
— Roy L. Smith

“Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it.  Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want and their kids pay for it.”
— Richard Lamm

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!”
— Hamilton Wright Mabie

“Roses are reddish,
violets are bluish.
If it weren’t for Christmas,
we’d all be Jewish.”

— Benny Hill

“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C.  This wasn’t for any religious reasons.  They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin.”
— Jay Leno

“Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth.”
— Richard Crashaw

Now, for those who are weary of Santa Claus and fed up with the other secular and commercial aspects of the Christmas holiday, here are a few additional messages, including authoritative quotes from the Good Book, to remind us of the true reason for the season.

“To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.”
— Calvin Coolidge, Presidential message (December 25, 1927).

“Christmas has been a season of mixed interests and meanings, but the very foundation, of course, is its religious significance. No matter what other personal desires or crises we have faced, I’ve never forgotten that this is the time to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus, and the impact of this event on the history of the world.”
— Jimmy Carter, Christmas in Plains: Memories, p. 11.

Christ’s birth was foretold about 700 years prior to the event.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
— Bible, Isaiah 7:14

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

— Bible, Isaiah 9:7

The first Christmas as recorded by the apostle Matthew  …

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,”which is translated, “God with us.”

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

— Bible, Matthew 1:18-25

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright December 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Why I Believe

When people use the word faith, it often has a religious connotation. But think of it. Almost everything we know has an element of faith. We have faith in natural laws such as gravity. It is testable. But, predictability of how it will behave in the future is an act of faith. Without faith, every leap and every step would be a mystery until it was completed.

Some describe religious faith as shallow because it cannot be tested in the laboratory. The laboratory part is true, the conclusion is not. Just like a court of law, there are other types of evidence besides lab results. For example, there is no scientific experiment that could prove Julius Cesar was a real person. But, we have sufficient archaeological evidence and written records to confidently call this a fact.

“Faith is not a way of convincing yourself that something is true when you know it is not, as someone has defined it, but faith is believing in something that is true. In order to be a Christian you must believe through faith, because from faith comes life, strength, peace and joy.” — Shawn Vandop

It seems to me that if God expects us to choose Jesus in lieu of the false prophets who proclaim other “truths”, He would provide evidence. Otherwise, how could we differentiate one Messiah from another?

I First Believed Because of My Parents

I received my initial training in the Christian faith from people who taught me many other lessons, too. Mom taught me that the street is a dangerous place. In first grade, a classmate was killed while crossing the street. Mom was right. The street IS a dangerous place! Why shouldn’t I believe other lessons she taught, such as Jesus.

As I grew up, people challenged the principles of my faith. Not just the existence of God, but also the nature of God. So, I was forced to look for evidence. After all, I couldn’t tell them I believed only because my parents and my pastor said so.

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” — Bible, 1 John 4:1-3

Other believers my age seemed to be a reasonable place to start. From sixth grade on, kids from church were among my friends. I can remember having discussions throughout my adolescent years and college about God, right and wrong and the Bible. While their belief provided some affirmation, they didn’t seem to have the special insight I was looking for.

My faith journey continued through my college days to the present. As I recognized and understood the evidence, my faith became stronger. My simple childlike faith gradually matured and became stronger because of the evidence and because God’s Holy Spirit has softened my heart and prepared my mind to receive what my stubborn, selfish heart would otherwise reject.

I Believe Because of the Miraculous Deeds of Jesus Christ

During His time on earth, Jesus did the unthinkable. He cured diseases and healed infirmities with no more than the touch of His hand. He foretold the future with perfect accuracy. He loved the most unlovable outcasts (e.g. lepers, thieves, tax collectors, prostitutes, murderers, and religious zealots. ) He taught timeless lessons for good living. He knew with perfect clarity what people were thinking. He walked on water and calmed a storm. He raised people from the dead, including Himself. In other words, He had full command over the natural world. You would expect someone like this to have the power to escape his own death by crucifixion. Instead, He chose to give His life as payment for all of the sins of mankind.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Bible, Romans 6:23

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” — Bible, John 15:13

There were thousands of witnesses who saw the miracles, heard the words and believed. The established church and the Roman government knew of the miracles and felt threatened by a man with this kind of power. Who am I, living 2000 years after the fact, to question the testimonies of those who were there in person?

“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.” — Bible, John 2:23

I Believe Because Jesus’ Disciples Believed

People will die for a cause if it’s big enough and if they believe it to be true. People will not willingly die for a lie. Those who ate, drank, traveled and lived with Jesus knew Him as the Son of God, who would be crucified and rise from the dead, and most of them were tortured and killed for their belief. They saw the evidence first hand, knew the truth and wrote it down.

“This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.” — Bible, John 2:1

I Believe Because of the Testimony of Jesus Christ

Jesus claimed to have authority to forgive sins. He claimed to be the Son of God and the Messiah that had been foretold for centuries. He also foretold his death and rising from the dead. Logically, if there is sufficient evidence to support His claims, then the only reasonable conclusion must be that Jesus is the Lord and Savior for mankind.

Matthew 12:15-17 — “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’”

John 4:25-26 — “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”

In John 3:16 Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

In Mark 10:45 Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

I believe there IS sufficient evidence to support Christ’s claims.  While I have heard many contest the truth of these claims, there is no credible information anywhere to refute that Christ made them. So, logically the claims become a true/false question? If false, the conclusion must be that Jesus is either a liar or a lunatic. Now think about this.  Who would knowingly follow a liar or a lunatic when doing so would put their lives at great risk?  As previously mentioned, many of Christ’s most committed followers were martyred for the actions that were inspired by their deeply held belief in these claims.

The answers are in the Bible, which claims over and over to be the Word of God.  But in addition, here’s why the Bible can be trusted.

  • The Bible is by far (i.e. by orders of magnitude) the most well preserved ancient document.
  • The Bible has withstood more scrutiny than any other document.
  • The Bible is a collection of writings by multiple authors written over the course of over 1500 years and yet, it is self consistent.

My MacArthur Study Bible and books like the following, help me clarify my thinking, sort through the evidence and understand historical context.

  • “Surprised By Faith” by Dr. Don Bierle
  • “Who Moved the Stone?” by Frank Morrison
  • “A Case For Christ” by Lee Strobel
  • “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis

I Believe Because He Pursues Me

Believing that the universe, with all of its complexity, is the result of random chance takes a greater amount of faith than believing in God, who made Himself known and provided plenty of evidence, including His Son, Jesus Christ and his written word, the Bible. The universe is SO big that we would never find God unless He wanted to be found. Because He wants to be found, He is everywhere, pursuing us with patience and persistence.

“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God.” — C.S. Lewis, “Letters to Malcolm”

I Believe Because I’ve Seen the Lord’s Handiwork

Throughout history many incredible things have happened that are covered with God’s fingerprints. He continues to work in today’s world. No matter how unusual or improbable, skeptics will call these events coincidences. This believer recognizes with his mind and his heart that what is coincidence to some, is more of God’s evidence.

“I’ve had enough ‘signs and wonders’ to get my attention. But let me tell you, I believe because I have chosen to believe! I’ll believe if I never see another sign or wonder.” — Mark Lowry

So Why Doesn’t Everyone Believe?

That’s a simple question with many answers of which lack of evidence is not a valid one. All other answers are somehow related to ignorance and apathy. People will not likely entertain the notion of a god if they have no awareness of any evidence that suggests there could be a god. That’s ignorance. Alternatively, they have awareness of the evidence at some level, but don’t care enough to discover the full spectrum of evidence and assess it objectively. Apathy about anything is part intellectual laziness and part emotional. Perhaps something happened that created anger and bitterness that they direct toward a god in whom they no longer believe. Maybe the image of a strict God is incompatible with their lifestyle making it seem easier to not believe. In any case, the result is both ignorance and apathy, characteristics of a fallen humanity.

If someone’s heart and mind are open to the idea that there is a god and is committed to learning more, the next logical question would be, “Who is God?” This leads to a process of trying to identify God by understanding His nature and how that relates to us on a personal basis.

There are many god choices available. Some would say it doesn’t matter which god is chosen as long as the choice is made with sincerity. This certainly seems fair and flexible from a human perspective. But, is this God’s plan or man’s opinion? Here are just two Bible verses that explain why Christianity and other belief systems that offer alternative gods or paths to God are mutually exclusive.

“And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” — Bible, Matthew 4:9-10

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” — Bible, John 14:6

So, the question has come full circle. Is Jesus who He says He is? If so, and if you want what He has to offer, then your only choice is clear.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” — Bible, John 3:16

This is not a decision you can avoid. It is impossible to remain neutral. Jesus said,

“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” — Bible, Matthew 12:30

Get a Bible and start with the book of John and the book of Romans to discover what God has to say about His purpose for your life and having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright August 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com