Thursday, January 31, 2013

Self-control in the Classroom

The 16-9 Movement is dedicated to educators in the public schools who understand (or are learning) their high calling. Teaching is the only profession in the world whose job is to change the human brain every day (Dr. David Sousa at FETC 2013) That’s a huge charge! When you are a Christian educator, you have an even more profound call to cherish the minds of those under your charge as children of God. The idea of the 16-9 Movement is to encourage all educators to learn the first 16 words of the First Amendment which teaches us that when we are “Congress” (an employee of the state) we can neither encourage nor discourage religion. As a Christian serving in the public schools we are under authority and are law abiding. We also need to grow in the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self-control. In previous posts, I have related each of these attributes to the classroom or school setting.  Today we will look at self-control.

            Self-control, to me, is an oxymoron. Can we really control ourselves? Without the help of the Holy Spirit, unequivocally – no! However, with the gracious goodness of our God, we can learn to ask for His quick conviction. As long as we are human, we will sin, but as a Christian we must repent and change immediately. Self-control in the classroom covers our mistakes, our foolish comments that we never meant to say and the areas we need to overcome.  Our students should not be the recipients of our issues. We must make a conscious effort to present ourselves as an educator of excellence for their sake.

            In, self-control is defined as: self-con·trol [self-kuhn-trohl, self-]
noun, control or restraint of oneself or one's actions, feelings, etc. In the classroom, self-control encompasses every fruit of the Spirit, every emotions and feeling, and everything we do. Being in control of oneself, is being on time, being an example of faithfulness to our students and colleagues, using words that are kind and good and being aware of our influence. All teachers are change agents, but not all change is positive influence. With God’s help and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, Christian educators can walk out their high calling with grace and confidence while always being lawful.  Some probing questions that may help with self-control in the classroom are:

  •  Am I leaving my personal issues at home?
  •  Am I bringing my A game to the students (or co-workers) each day?
  • Am I choosing my words wisely?
  • Am I praying before the day begins for a double-portion of wisdom for that day?
  • Am I longing to be a better ambassador for Christ so that my student benefit from having a Christian as their teacher?

            There is nothing simple about being a Christian in the public schools, but this career is the greatest gift that God has given us. Who wouldn’t want their child to have a teacher, paraprofessional or administrator who is practicing the Fruit of the Spirit in the school environment?  We can all benefit from professionals using self-control and Christian educators shining their light through their walk each day.  May God grant you the wisdom and blessing of practicing self-control in the classroom.

Prayerfully dependent,

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer,  next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school.  

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