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Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students

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    Further Instruction

    It is not wise for a new school to lift its banner and promise to do a high grade of work before proving that it is fully able to do preparatory work. It should be the great aim in every intermediate school to do most thorough work in the common branches.CT 210.2

    In every school that is established among us, the teachers should begin humbly, not grasping the higher rounds off the ladder before they have climbed the lower ones. They are to climb round after round, beginning at the bottom. They are to be learners even as they teach the common branches. When they have learned the meaning of the simplicity of true education they will better understand how to prepare students for advanced studies. Teachers are to learn as they teach. Advancement is to be made, and by advancement experience is to be gained.CT 210.3

    Our teachers should not think that their work ends with giving instruction from books. Several hours each day should be devoted to working with the students in some line of manual training. In no case should this be neglected.CT 211.1

    In every school there should be those who have a store of patience and disciplinary talent, who will see to it that every line of work is kept up to the highest standard. Lessons in neatness, order, and thoroughness are to be given. Students should be taught how to keep in perfect order everything in the school and about the grounds.CT 211.2

    Before he attempts to guide the youth, a teacher should learn to control himself. If he is not a constant learner in the school of Christ; if he has not the discernment and discrimination that would enable him to employ wise methods in his work; if he cannot govern those in his charge with firmness, yet pleasantly and kindly, how can he be successful in his teaching? The teacher who is not under the control of God needs to heed the invitation, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29, 30.CT 211.3

    Every teacher should learn daily of Jesus, wearing His yoke of restraint, sitting in His school as a student, obeying the rules of Christian principle. The teacher who is not under the guidance of the Master Teacher will not be able to meet successfully the different developments that arise as the result of the natural perversity of childhood and youth.CT 211.4

    Let the teacher bring peace and love and cheerfulness into his work. Let him not allow himself to become angry or provoked. The Lord is looking upon him with intense interest, to see if he is being molded by the divine Teacher. The child who loses his self-control is far more excusable than the teacher who allows himself to become angry and impatient. When a stern reproof is to be given, it may still be given in kindness. Let the teacher beware of making the child stubborn by speaking to him harshly. Let him follow every correction with drops of the oil of kindness. He should never forget that he is dealing with Christ in the person of one of Christ's little ones.CT 212.1

    Let it be a settled maxim that in all school discipline, faithfulness and love are to reign. When a student is corrected in such a way that he is not made to feel that the teacher desires to humiliate him, love for the teacher springs up in his heart.CT 212.2

    Saint Helena, California,

    May 17, 1903

    *****

    In the night season I was speaking earnestly to the brethren in Southern California in reference to the school at Fernando. Perplexing questions had arisen in reference to the school. One in authority was in the assembly, and He gave counsel in regard to the way in which the school should be conducted. Our Counselor said: “If you follow on to know the Lord, you will know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. The teachers in the school should be learners with the students in all the instruction given. They are constantly to receive grace and wisdom from the Source of all wisdom.CT 212.3

    “You are just beginning your work. Not all your ideas are positively correct. Not all your methods are wise. It is not possible that your work at its beginning will be perfect. But as you advance, you will learn how to use to better advantage the knowledge that you are gaining. In order to do their work in harmony with the Lord's will, teachers must keep their minds open to receive instruction from the Great Teacher.”CT 213.1

    Los Angeles, California,

    September 18, 1902

    *****

    You will certainly make a serious mistake if you undertake, with a few students and a few teachers, to do the advanced work that is carried forward with so much difficulty and expense in our larger schools. It will be better for your students and for the school, for those who require the advanced studies, to go to the college, and thus leave your faculty free to devote their best energies to doing thorough work in teaching the common branches.CT 213.2

    What is it that will make our schools a power? It is not the size of the buildings; it is not the number of advanced studies taught. It is the faithful work done by teachers and students, as they begin at the lower rounds of the ladder progress and climb diligently round by round.CT 213.3

    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.CT 213.4

    *****

    The youth in all our institutions are to be molded and fashioned and disciplined for God; and in this work the Lord's mercy and love and tenderness are ever to be revealed. This is not to degenerate into weakness and sentimentality. We are to be kind, yet firm. And let teachers remember that while decision is needful, they are never to be harsh or condemnatory, never to manifest an overbearing spirit. Let them keep calm, revealing the better way by refusing to be provoked to anger.CT 214.1

    God wants us to demonstrate His love by showing a living interest in the youth under our care. Hold them up before the Lord, and ask Him to do for them what you cannot do. Let them see that you realize your need of divine help.CT 214.2

    *****

    The teacher should constantly aim at simplicity and effectiveness. He should teach largely by illustration, and even in dealing with older pupils should be careful to make every explanation plain and clear. Many pupils well advanced in years are but children in understanding.—Education, 233.CT 214.3

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