Teachers and Teaching Sermon Illustrations

Teachers and Teaching Sermon Illustrations

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Teaching and selling have some common ground. Both must arouse interest, maintain that interest and finally change the behavior of the target. However, the overlooked pupil often fares less well than the overlooked prospect, who is more likely to become a prospect again and again.—M. Dale Baughman

A teacher from abroad who had visited hundreds of classrooms in the United States said that there was one striking difference between their classrooms and ours. She said: "In our schools you can easily find the teacher. She is at the front of the room talking, a one-way transmission. Your teacher is not always at the front of the room. She may be working with an individual child or a small group."

Students describe their teachers: It's hard to say what most impressed me about my new teacher. I suppose the first thing I noticed was her unique appearance. She was short, which is nothing really unusual, and she was plump. But it was her face that was distinguished. It lay in folds of soft wrinkles accented by many laugh lines; her mouth was little and always carried a slight smile; and her eyes were the biggest, brownest and roundest eyes I have ever seen. What's more, they were very bright and ever sparkling with mischief. Her hair was soft, requiring attention, and yet it was always full of expression. She looked like a little Pekinese ready to pounce on something new and wonderful—at least that's how she looked to me.

Just because there is laughter coming from a room, a teacher has not lost control of his class. This is something that just does not occur in his sessions. He is able to maintain discipline without a large show. With just a word of warning the students will become quiet again. This is mainly because they respect this teacher and want to please him, not because they will be sent to the office or have their grades lowered.

Take Mrs. Youth for instance; she really wasn't young, but her outlook on life was young. She must have been at least 35, but you felt as if she could understand your problems and feelings as if she were 17. She always had a humorous story to illustrate a point or break the monotony. I never worked quite so hard fora teacher as I did for her.

Every way I looked at him from his round so-called fiat-top to his long, pointed brown shoes, I knew he was one of the teachers people talk about. His dress was real classy—striped suits and polka dot bow ties, along with loud shirts and red socks. His face looked so much like a bull dog, I kept wanting to say, "Here, boy, here." His face wasn't really that bad if he shaved more than once a week. It was just that silly smile and those big jaws.

His caption in the school's "Candyland" annual is "Lemon Drop." His attitude on the world is soured. There are only two things in all of God's creation which he reveres; Teddy Roosevelt and the Republican party. He dislikes teaching; he hates being required to help with extra-curricular activities; he despises crowds; he abhors church suppers; and he cannot tolerate people who disagree with him.

It was the firm conviction of everyone that he had to his name only one brown suit and a brown nylon shirt. He wore this suit and shirt every day. We were all greatly surprised one day when he wore a blue one, but we found out later he had to leave early that day to go to a funeral.

She reminds me of a walking mummy, because she never smiles, and looks like she is dead. She wears some of the weirdest dresses; they look like the ones my mother gave to our church to send to foreign countries.

Take Mrs. Gypsy, for instance, she was always dressed in a gaudy, glaring way. Not that I think a teacher should dress like a Puritan on Sunday, but who likes anyone to wear gaudy colors and tons of jewelry? Mrs. Gypsy wore chandeliers on her ears and bells on her toes.

Mr. H. reminded me of an extremely nervous cat. He would walk constantly back and forth across the room or around in a circle; it nearly drove a person crazy to watch him, especially if he sat in a front row. As he lectured, he had the habit of sticking his pencil into the large jowl of fat under his chin. Every time you asked him a question about English, he would look up at the ceiling, as if the answer was up there.

In the First World War, he was in the artillery, and the way he yelled and stomped around in class you would think the guns were still firing.

If you were in her classroom when she was writing on the board, you would have undoubtedly heard the jingle-jangle of her numerous bracelets. She had more armor on than the knights of old. After hearing this jingle-jangle constantly for an hour, you would adore the silence of the students shouting in the halls between classes.

Miss Stoneface is a serious lady who never cracks a smile and expects the same of her students. She believes that a little laughing spoils everything. There should be a lot of seriousness in the class­room, but just a little smile would make a serious matter much more interesting. Does she realize that life is not all work?

Mr. Business-Like never strayed off the subject. Mr. Business-Like was a great perfectionist and demanded everything his way. He never laughed or allowed us to laugh. If we did, we could be sure of getting an eraser or a piece of chalk thrown at us. From the moment we walked into the room until we left, the subject never strayed from English. This provided a dull hour and one to which few looked forward with anticipation.

His sense of humor smoothed over all the rough edges. When you went into his class, you had a good feeling about school, for he could keep his class in stitches and still teach the lesson and get his points across.

In my senior year at high school I entered my English course with a teacher who was a riot. He would begin and end every class with a sterling comment or clever joke. With these jokes he could control the moods and feelings of the class for a whole period.

Another teacher that I admire is Mr. J. From all indications, he seems to know his subject thoroughly and how to put it across. He has a wonderful sense of humor and knows how to mix it with the work to keep the attention of the class at all times. No matter what particular subject we are on, he knows how to make the joke that will put his point across to everyone.

Another outstanding feature about Miss O. was the delicate perfume she used. She used just the right amount, too, about half a bottle at a time.

Her hair has been dyed so often that it is all falling out, but what she does have is black—yes, just as black as coal. Anyone should know a teacher like her should have a few gray hairs—if not from age, at least from teaching.

I can see her in my mind's eye now; a short fattish little woman with tight, grayish, wispy curls framing her face. She reminded me of a top; it was as if the weight of her body would slowly topple her off her tiny feet. She was very proud of her feet. She tripped around in short, fast, little steps like an overweight ballet dancer.

The teacher I will never forget was my eighth grade teacher who taught English. He could never stick to a subject. He would be in the middle of a discussion on Rome which would remind him of Cairo, Illinois, and his boyhood. He was also the coach of our rules of baseball, basketball, and track, plus what we did wrong school, and half the period would be spent on the discussion of in yesterday's game. Since I played baseball reasonably well, I made an "A" in English all year.—Wilmer A. Lamar, Teachers as Students See Them, Stephen Decatur High School, Decatur, Illinois

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