Josh Swartz serves as the Director of Schools for the Missouri District office. He has vast experience as an educator and administrator. Read below for his guidance that being a teacher is more than simply having summers off–it’s a calling.
What does a teacher do?
So much goes into the preparation of getting ready for a school year. It is literally a huge production that involves many. From the obvious, teams assembled to clean the building, install new wiring and equipment, to the ordering of consumables, site licenses, and equipment use. To the not so obvious. The countless hours of educator training over the curriculum framework while simultaneously delving into the intricate details of how the learning process takes place regarding the age and development stage of each child, transferring all that knowledge into his/her craft as they work to engage the children in the classroom. Not to mention the details of bulletin board colors, placements of posters, wording used, theme, name tags, positioning of desks, supplies, movement through the room, paper turn in, grading setup, day schedule, recess and lunch duty details, and the list goes on. Who knew that so much purposeful care and attention to detail takes place BEFORE a school year can begin?
How to prepare to become a teacher?
Depending upon the path a Lutheran teacher feels eager to pursue, there is a varying degree of schooling. A balanced curriculum for pedagogy, philosophy, and ethics, along with any specialized training or degrees that add more knowledge and expertise or experience. From there, a Lutheran teacher hones their craft commonly referred to as the art of teaching, taking continuing education credits and training to maintain up to date changes in previously studied pedagogy, philosophy, ethics, etc. What brings it all together though is the absolute joy of inspiring others to discover who they are and who’s they are, a child of the Heavenly Father. After all, teaching is a calling.
What about being a teacher gives you joy?
The joy and art of a teacher is getting to know each redeemed, child of the Heavenly Father that enters their classroom. Learning their needs and in God’s wisdom, engaging and ultimately inspiring the child to become a life-long learner growing in grace and wisdom. Those relationships with the child along with the family, are often life-long and always life altering. From the joy of sharing God’s words of encouragement and hope to the love of seeing the growth of each child from the beginning of the year to the end watching the child take ownership of their learning while occasionally being honored with the opportunity of seeing a child taught get baptized is what a teacher gets to do, and why in so many ways, is called to become a teacher.