This guest post was written by Debbie Harris
I am convinced that if you take the virtues as they appear in a child and place them in an adult the result will be an extraordinary teacher.
What use would the virtues of a child be to an educator? What would those virtues be? There are many, but those foremost are Passion, Energy, Delight, Persistence, Curiosity, Love, Optimism, Awe, Loyalty, and Imagination.
Passion in a child is most evident in that a child puts all of themselves into everything they do. Along with that they have a sense of wonder and curiosity that results in limitless questions. What would a classroom look like in which the teacher puts all of themselves into what they do? What would learning look like under a teacher who had a limitless supply of questions that they truly desired the answers to?
A child is filled with faith that is singularly strong and gives unswerving devotion in response to very little. Children build relationships almost instantaneously and are loyal and loving to their core. They adore their teachers because they spend time together, and the child is freely open in speaking his mind and sharing himself. A teacher who is open, loyal and persistent with the energy of a child will be be refreshed more by their teaching than by their preparation periods.
A child has a brain that is constantly making connections between things. These links that they seek are foundational strands of truth. A teacher who displays a faith that seeks connections and desires to build an understanding in the fibers of foundational truth would be one who provides an ever-increasing picture of the glory of God. Along with that an awe for beauty and wonder, and an imagination that could go anywhere and be anyone? What adventures there could be in that classroom!
What a gift the virtues of the child are to the human soul!
As we seek to instill in the child the virtuous traits of the teacher, perhaps we also ought to spend time instilling in ourselves the virtuous traits of the child.
Debbie Harris is the Dean of Teaching Staff and Curriculum at Hope Academy in Minneapolis. She is a CiRCE consultant in classroom techniques and teaching strategies.