Teachers – even volunteer Bible class teachers – spend a lot of time figuring out the best ways to teach their students. You may spend a lot of time in Bible study preparing for the lesson. Or perhaps you spend hours preparing the activities you will do in class. Have you ever thought though about what your Bible students may be able to teach you?
Teaching is a gift from God. It’s a gift not everyone receives. Yet just because God gives you a gift, doesn’t mean that He hands it to you fully developed. Like King David had to practice slinging against scary foes as a shepherd, you will need to learn and grow in order to fully develop the teaching gift God gave you.
Believe it or not, your students are actually great refiners of teachers. Each student has something special about the way he or she learns. Perhaps one student is intellectually gifted and is taught a lot of Bible at home. Another student may be bright, but is a foster child whose foster parents were the first people to tell her about God. Maybe you have a student who can’t seem to sit still or another who gets hyper-focused on one aspect of your lesson.
If you take the time to work with your students and find out more effective ways to reach them with God’s message, you are also learning how to be a better teacher. You are honing the gift God gave you so you can be even more effective the next time you have a similar student.
Instead of shrugging your shoulders when a student seems disengaged, consider it a lesson for you. God is giving you an opportunity to become a better teacher. He’s helping you find ways of being more effective when teaching others about what He wants from them and for them. Accepting those teaching challenges as another gift from God will help you develop the gift of teaching God gave you to its fullest potential. It’s worth your time and effort to take advantage of those lessons your students may offer you.