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Counsels for the Church

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    Qualifications of a School Teacher

    Secure a strong man to stand as principal of your school, a man whose physical strength will support him in doing thorough work as a disciplinarian; a man who is qualified to train the students in habits of order, neatness, and industry. Do thorough work in whatever you undertake. If you are faithful in teaching the common branches, many of your students could go directly into the work as canvassers, colporteurs, and evangelists. We need not feel that all workers must have an advanced education.335Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 213, 214CCh 206.2

    In selecting teachers, we should use every precaution, knowing that this is as solemn a matter as the selecting of persons for the ministry. Wise men who can discern character should make the selection; for the very best talent that can be secured is needed to educate and mold the minds of the young, and to carry on successfully the many lines of work that will need to be done by the teachers in our church schools. No person of an inferior or narrow cast of mind should be placed in charge of one of these schools. Do not place over the children young, inexperienced teachers who have no managing ability; for their efforts will tend to disorganization.336Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 174, 175CCh 206.3

    There should not be a teacher employed, unless you have evidence by test and trial, that he loves, and fears to offend God. If teachers are taught of God, if their lessons are daily learned in the school of Christ, they will work in Christ's lines. They will win and draw with Christ; for every child and youth is precious.337Fundamentals of Christian Education, 260CCh 206.4

    The habits and principles of a teacher should be considered of even greater importance than his literary qualifications. If he is a sincere Christian, he will feel the necessity of having an equal interest in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual education of his scholars. In order to exert the right influence, he should have perfect control over himself, and his own heart should be richly imbued with love for his pupils, which will be seen in his looks, words, and acts.338Fundamentals of Christian Education, 19.CCh 206.5

    The teacher should ever conduct himself as a Christian gentleman. He should stand in the attitude of a friend and counselor to his pupils. If all our people—teachers, ministers, and lay members—would cultivate the spirit of Christian courtesy, they would far more readily find access to the hearts of the people; many more would be led to examine and receive the truth. When every teacher shall forget self, and feel a deep interest in the success and prosperity of his pupils, realizing that they are God's property, and that he must render an account for his influence upon their minds and characters, then we shall have a school in which angels will love to linger.339Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 93, 94CCh 206.6

    Our church schools need teachers who have high moral qualities; those who can be trusted; those who are sound in the faith and who have tact and patience; those who walk with God and abstain from the very appearance of evil.CCh 207.1

    To place over young children, teachers who are proud and unloving is wicked. A teacher of this stamp will do great harm to those who are rapidly developing character. If teachers are not submissive to God, if they have no love for the children over whom they preside, or if they show partiality for those who please their fancy, and manifest indifference to those who are less attractive, or to those who are restless and nervous, they should not be employed; for the result of their work will be a loss of souls for Christ.CCh 207.2

    Teachers are needed, especially for the children, who are calm and kind, manifesting forbearance and love for the very ones who most need it.340Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 175, 176.CCh 207.3

    Unless the teacher realizes the need of prayer and humbles his heart before God, he will lose the very essence of education.341Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 231.CCh 207.4

    The importance of the teacher's physical qualifications can hardly be overestimated; for the more perfect his health, the more perfect will be his labor. The mind cannot be clear to think and strong to act when the physical powers are suffering the results of feebleness or disease. The heart is impressed through the mind; but if, because of physical inability, the mind loses its vigor, the channel to the higher feelings and motives is to that extent obstructed, and the teacher is less able to discriminate between right and wrong. When suffering the results of ill health, it is not an easy matter to be patient and cheerful, or to act with integrity and justice.342Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 177.CCh 207.5

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