It’s odd, I think, that I teach university students and my two preschool-aged boys.
There are moments that I know I live in two very separate worlds, like when I was brainstorming for a demo class at the university and thought, “maybe I should do something with balloons…”
Then there are other moments when I realize it’s not all that different, like when I was repeating instructions two, three and four times to my university juniors. (I pointed it out to my them, and they got a good laugh, and then started listening better. Yes!)
I’m learning that great teachers don’t just teach the mind. As many moms already know, true teaching challenges the heart – the will – the center of decision.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, since the Scriptures clearly bring together heart and mind in relation to learning.
Here’s an example from the book of Proverbs:
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding …”
The student, in this case a father’s son, has to turn in order to hear his father. This is an act of will, and it doesn’t come naturally.
Let’s be honest. How many of us like being told what to do? But with God’s help, we can humble ourselves and listen.
This has been a specific way I’ve begun to pray for my kids and students: the ability to turn and listen.
You might laugh, but I realize that this is a special gift from God, summed up in the very last verse of the Old Testament where God says He will send someone in the spirit and power of Elijah who will turn the hearts of the parents to the children, the hearts of the children toward their parents and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous.
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