National Christian Teachers Summit, 2018.
Day 2 – 3rd August 2018
The Peculiarity of Students
God and the Bible recognize the three broad segments of a child’s life. The division is intentional and deliberate. Even according to our curriculum, they have recognized the Primary education, Secondary education and the Tertiary education. Though these segments are distinctive, they’re not mutually exclusive. Whatever happens in the first segment, affects & impacts what the secondary segment can have. Likewise, whatever is the result of the secondary segment is what the tertiary inherits.
Early Segment of the Child (Age 0-12)
Pro 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
When the young life is still a child (age 0-12), that is the stage to establish the features of the future for the child. Every parameter that will characterize the future of that life must be planted & developed in that young early years. Even though he may not understand fully what is happening, but the characteristics are being formed in him/her.
The first 5 years of a child’s life is foundational. That is when the child must be shaped. That is when the coordination of his hand and limbs, for example, are shaped properly. Those first few years are the years of shaping, years of forming. Unfortunately, every child should still remain in the hands of his parents at this stage but this is not the case. Parents have now begun to dump their children with teachers in school. Teachers are now being confronted with taking babies who are not yet formed. Unfortunately, teachers have not really been trained to cater for this age of children!
To shape is to create a form. It is to create an outline that shall be filled up later and the stage of the child when they’re very young is the stage of forming and shaping. The bible used the word “Train”. This is beyond just ‘teach’, this is beyond just ‘inform’. Many times you have to repeat the instruction for the child to get the instruction.
For example, some children open their mouths at random. They must be trained to close their mouth. Sometimes, it can even go beyond just saying it with the mouth and go on to tapping the mouth just to train the child. Or if the child sits with her legs open, she must be trained to sit well. At this stage, you may have to use many ways to help the child develop these attitudes that are critical for the future. It is important to note again that the word the bible used is TRAIN!
So the primary school teacher is very critical and important in the labor of training the child and preparing them for the future. At the prim-ary level, the teacher has the ‘prime’ of the life of the child. His job as the one to shape the prime years, if properly done, prepares the child for the higher level teachers to fill.