|From the Heart: Lease to teach|
|January 13, 2011 Herminia Flores|
I had an interesting weekend. I attended a teaching class Ė a class to equip me to teach adult Bible studies. Because I was a Spanish tutor with Upward Bound, I have some teaching experience. My teaching experience has been with high school kids, but my class taught me to teach adults.
Because I am a certified lay speaker with the United Methodist Church, I need to be certified yearly or for sure every three years. For me this class was a sink or swim. Among the duties that Iím able to perform as a lay speaker are preaching and teaching.
I was in the advanced class along with nine other lay speakers. We were a diverse group, but each one of us is very intelligent. Of course we started the session with an icebreaker by introducing ourselves and sharing a little of our lives. Some of the people knew each other, but I only knew one other person, so I found the introductions to be informative and fascinating.
I canít possibly write everything that I learned in this column, but Iíll try to share a few facts. For example, the longer we learn new and challenging information, the more we continue to keep our brains functioning at maximum levels. (Oooh, I think Iím in trouble).
The book mentioned some helpful learning hooks such as finding common ground, using questions, drawing on prior knowledge, exposing misconceptions, clarifying vocabulary, creating interest and connecting learning to life. We each stated what we believed each book meant. There were no wrong answers, and we all identified with each theme to some extent.
This class was for those who taught teaching Bible study to adults. Thus, my favorite discussion was about faith. Several life stories about faith were exchanged and some tears were shed.
The following statement aptly describes my ultimate goal: ďWe must learn the difference between knowing who Jesus is and inviting Him into our lives. We must not only learn about the Bible, but also live the Bible. We are about making disciples.Ē Well said.
It wasnít all work. We had breaks when we could eat some popcorn, drink some coffee and chat with the students in the basic class. For lunch, Pastor Juan made a delicious chicken noodle soup and Gloria Louch provided equally delicious homemade chili soup. No, we didnít suffer any hunger this weekend.
Much too soon the class was over and we were richer for having participated in it. We were richer in knowledge. We were richer in having met each other. We were richer in having learned about each otherís lives. And we were definitely richer in new friendships.
At the end, we had a small graduation ceremony. Congregating in the sanctuary, we praised Godís grace. Then we were presented with our certificates. Gee, I felt so proud that I wished I had a cap to throw in the air!
Tutoring high school kids is somewhat different from teaching adults. Perhaps someday Iíll have the opportunity to put my new teaching skills into practice.
ďIt is written in the prophets, ĎAnd they shall all be taught by God.í Therefore everyone who had heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.Ē (John 6:45)