The Inspiration of Teaching
Biography–Ashley Jabs is an instructor of Anatomy and Physiology at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. She also teaches Biology at Urshan College. Ashley attends church at the Sanctuary, in Hazelwood, MO, where she is the department head of the support staff team. She also sings in the choir and on the praise team She also teaches “Kids on the Move,” a children’s Wednesday evening Bible study group.
To some teaching is a career, to others it is a hobby, but for me it is my ministry. Since birth, we have all been taught. Collectively, these lessons from childhood have made us who we are. We spend our days either sharing these lessons, or replacing them with more effective ones.
When I was young, I was drawn to education-the feeling of the ‘light bulb’ going off. I owe many of the ‘revelations’ to those who were instructing my life. William Arthur Ward stated it best, “the mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” I knew and had people in my life who were the inspirational type. They were people who made me believe in more, in myself, and in a God who holds my world in his hands. But what I have always found so incredible was that while yes, I have had many teachers that helped bring me to a place of success, the greatest of all of those teachers, was Jesus Christ himself. When we take the words of Ward into account, He, Jesus, was all of those types of teachers and more. He told, explained, demonstrated—and most of all, inspired. He inspires us to take up his cross and follow him. Daily we are inspired to live a life sold out to God. We are inspired to live out the dreams God has placed inside of us. It is by God’s teaching and inspiration that we can be what we were created and meant to be. This inspiration I see which Jesus offered made me want to hear more about the Bible’s teachings. By observing Jesus Christ, I found my way—and ultimately, a career path.
As a college educator, I find that this inspiration, this lifestyle of teaching that Jesus left us all to embrace, is at the core of my daily pursuit. God taught us to love. God taught us to give. God taught us to trust. God taught us to live holy. These Biblical principles and teachings must be a part of who we are-in the classroom, and out of the classroom. If we truly are inspired by God, then these powerful teachings will be alive in us every day.
I hear the scripture, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it…” (2 Tim. 3:14-15). It is so important that we maintain the desire to love/give/trust/live as Jesus taught. Teaching is ministry—and it came from Jesus. It is loving students when they are unlovable. It is giving of your time and money when there is little left. It is creating a trust and a bond with each student, in hope they might see a little of Jesus inside of you. Why do I love teaching? Because it gives me a chance everyday to show each of my students just how much purpose they have—and a hope for more than the ordinary in their lives.
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