Training up children in the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6)

Merrick Dennill

Math 10/20/30, Math 7, Math 9, Physics 20/30, Chemistry 20/30, Science 10

         I believe the personal character of the teacher is more important than anything else in the room.  Are they loving, joyful, at peace, full of patience, known for kindness, goodness, and self-control?  Are they trust-worthy and loyal?  Do they possess an air of gentleness and a heart of compassion?  A great teacher models these virtues daily in their classroom.
         I believe personal and professional development cannot be neglected.  The teacher should be the head learner, a leader by example.  By accepting a career as a teaching professional, the teacher should be professing his love for a life of learning and committing himself to such.  The teacher should want his students to drink from a flowing stream, not a stagnant pool.  The teacher should grow personally, interpersonally, intellectually, and professionally with each passing year.
         I believe the ability to think critically, the development of logical reasoning, and learning how to learn take primacy over the memorization and regurgitation of information.  In the classroom, a holistic development of the mind is the desired final destination.  The teacher should be preparing his students for life in his absence.  As the old saying goes, give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
         I believe every student should learn how to explore the world on their own as well as function in a collaborative environment.  They should learn how to speak and how to listen.  They should learn that they have much to contribute, but even more to learn from others, even those who are often underestimated.  In the classroom, the effective teacher will embolden each student to the place where they can charge ahead alone into learning and humble each student to the place where they realize two heads are better than one.
         I believe the student's heart is the gateway to their mind.  Only an environment that nurtures and softens a student's heart will give the teacher access to and enliven the student's mind.  The effective teacher knows that what happens in their students' lives outside of the classroom matters and, as much as is possible, adapts to these realities.
         I believe student potential is more valuable and should consume the teacher's thinking far more than the present reality. The student in front of you is not a fixed entity, incapable of change for the better.  Teachers should be forward thinking, devoted to taking a better future and dragging it into the present.
         I believe no teacher is an island.  The relationships amongst the school's faculty are as important as the student-teacher relationships in class.  It takes a team effort from all the school's staff working together to move the school in a positive direction.

- Merrick Dennill