Teachers and Teaching Sermon Illustrations

Teachers and Teaching Sermon Illustrations

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An 1872 list of rules for teachers, posted by a New York City principal, included: Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and scuttle of coal for the day's sessions. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly. After ten hours in school, the teachers should spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barbershop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intentions, integrity and honesty.—From Esso Manhattan


The saddest of all obituaries might well be: "His hidden talents were never discovered." The intense concern of some parents for their "gifted" children probably stems from a feeling of their own latent but underdeveloped talents. And in this, the wealthiest of all lands, some children and youth will rarely if ever be nurtured in the rich and provocative presence of a gifted teacher. Many teachers, too, will remain mediocre, their potential but hidden talents undiscovered or underdeveloped.—Edgar Dale, The News Letter


He often deliberately posed a problem backwards—as if holding out a pair of scissors with the points toward you; you had to learn to grasp it from every angle. He squeezed knowledge from every experiment like juice from a grapefruit.—"A Teacher Who Turned Learning Into Adventure," NEA Journal


There is much more to good teaching than merely "keep­ing school." The attitudes, feelings, concepts, and practices that distinguish the fine teacher have been learned, and can, to a substantial degree, be taught.—Stephen Corey, Education Digest


Teaching is leaving a vestige of oneself in the development of another, and surely the child is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures.—Eugene P. Berth, Pennsylvania School Journal


Before 1900 about one-fourth of all the teachers in the United States had not finished even a high school course; one-fourth more had not more than a high school education; one-fourth more had only two years beyond the high school; the remaining one- fourth were college graduates, most of them with no professional training.—Frederick E. Bolton, Dean Emeritus, College of Education, University of Washington, Reprinted from U.S. News and World Report, June 7, 1957, published at Washington


Probably the best teachers in American colleges are the athletic coaches. It might seem to be undignified to employ teachers as we do coaches: "Win the games or seek another position." But it works. Even our colleges should realize that it is as important to teach a boy his mathematics as his football.—George B. Cutten, President Emeritus, Colgate University, School and Society


The colonial schoolmaster is unclassifiable. He was a God- fearing clergyman, he was an unintegrated rogue; he was amply paid, he was accorded a bare pittance; he made teaching a life career, he used it merely as a stepping stone; he was a classical scholar, he was all but illiterate; he was licensed by bishop or colonial governor, he was certified only by his own pretensions; he was a cultured gentleman, he was a crude-mannered yokel; he ranked with the cream of society, he was regarded as a menial. In short he was neither a type nor a personality, but a statistical distribution represented by a skewed curve.—The American Teacher


Not one professor in 50 can understand that the process of learning can be, and should be, in Milton's words "so sweet, so green, so full of goodly prospects and melodious sounds, that the harp of Orpheus were not more charming."—Reprinted by permission of Abelard­Schuman, Ltd. from the book Some of My Best Friends are Professors by George Williams, copyright 1958


Since they are young, be watchful of the word;
For what today is spoken reappears
A rigid thing tomorrow to be heard
As even stronger truth by other ears.

Print carefully the message on these minds;
Grave deep the golden character of love;
Because of this you write tomorrow finds
A rusty sword or yet the trampled dove.—Eugene T. Maleska, Former Associate Editor, Intercom, Junior High School Ass'n., New York City, now Coordinator of Teacher Recruitment, New York City Schools


Nobody knows all the answers. But I am sure—with a sureness that amounts to a passion—that along with our concern for refined, accelerated, toughened-up subject matter and raised standards of performance, we had better look to the fundamental prime-movers within our personality. In many a case the job is primarily to release and only then to stimulate the ability that is there.—Fred T. Wilhelms, Educational Leadership


A noted feminist once said that the best definition of education is that which remains in your mind after everything you have been taught has been forgotten. What remains in many a student's mind is something about the teacher—some trick of mind, some way of thought, some gesture, some view that he has towards life. Let us put it this way: some life style. And the life style of the teacher is something that can be communicated to the student.—"The Training of a Teacher Elite," Max Lerner, daily columnist, New York Post and Professor of American Civilization, Brandeis University, 12th Yearbook, 1959, The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, page 24


You cannot discover a youngster with fire in him unless the discovery is made by a teacher with fire in him There are no ways of discovering promise and talent in youngsters simply by tests. Tests can tell you about achievement and tests might conceivably tell you about some kind of potential; but after you have taken the whole battery of diagnostic tests there remains, nevertheless, the indispensable element.

Carlyle used to say: "The big question about any man is—have you a fire in your belly?" There remains the indispensable element that only someone with the fire in his belly will be able to discover a youngster with fire in his belly.—"The Training of a Teacher Elite," Max Lerner, daily columnist, New York Post and Professor of American Civilization, Brandeis University, 12th Yearbook, 1959, The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, page 24


A spark plug functioning properly gives the exact amount of spark to produce maximum performance. This proper gauging is an important function in school and one which the teacher must ever attempt to perfect.—Homer T. Rosenberger, Superintendent of Training, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Wash­ington, D.C., Bulletin, NASSP


A teacher's salary may not be everything, but to most, it has a strong lead on whatever is running second.

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