5/8: On Learning

 

I have spent almost my entire life in school. After a short stint in pre-school – the only school I recall not liking – came kindergarten and the elementary years. Junior high was divided between two schools, and my wonderful high school years were spent as a Los Angeles High School Roman. Then for two years I was a Trojan at U.S.C. (the University of Southern California), and my final two undergraduate years were spent working really hard to earn my bachelor’s degree from Biola University. Then I actually started teaching school three months before I graduated and I’ve been “in school” ever since.

Over the years, I’ve attended numerous teachers’ conferences and have heard a lot about teaching, but I’ve come to understand that my teaching will mean nothing if I don’t focus on whether or not my students are learning. A learned piece of information is a building block; it has its own use, plus it’s placed so that another piece of information can be added to it at a later date. It is my job as an educator to communicate my new pieces of information in a way that connects with and builds upon an old piece that’s already been placed. When I can accomplish that, learning happens.

The problem I face is chinks in the wall or missing information blocks. If vital blocks have not been laid in advance of a student coming to me, my information blocks simply become heavy weights that serve to crush rather than build. Whose fault was it that the student missed the former building blocks? Who knows? It could have been the home environment, a faulty school system, a lazy instructor, an extended absence, or even something in the student’s own make-up. Whatever the case, if the former building blocks aren’t there, they aren’t there, and learning won’t occur. Successful students are those who learn; who can connect the new information to the old and use it effectively to progress from grade to grade toward graduation.

The Bible tells us that learning happens in small chunks. Isaiah says, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little” Isaiah 28:10 (NKJ). What works for school children in regular school is also true of us as we learn of God and His ways in the school of life. We should be gaining new information daily from God, incorporating what He says into our lives, and growing in our walk with Him. Or are we like those Paul spoke about to Timothy who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” 2 Timothy 3:7 (NKJ)?

It’s easy to tell the difference between a kindergartener and a college graduate. Here’s a test to see if you are progressing adequately toward graduation. 1. How long have you known God? 2. What spiritual grade are you in? 3. What have you learned of Him and His ways that you effectively use? 4. Did you add a new “block” of learning today, either from reading the textbook (the Bible), listening to one of His lectures (a sermon or Bible study), or attending one of His life-lesson labs?

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©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!

~ by sanewriter on May 8, 2013.

One Response to “5/8: On Learning”

  1. Fortunately, there are no teacher’s pets.

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