a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher
by Jacob Shylla
As an individual and a teacher, following the Master Teacher means imbibing and cultivating His nature and virtues. His life presents to me three very prominent aspects of His nature.
The Master Teacher most certainly would not have made as much impact as a teacher if He was doing it by remote control or through inanimate objects or tools. Imagine if He had been just a voice, a vision or a dream. How effective would that have been? Well not very much. Indeed, He had to be born as a person and to live among the very ones that He was to teach. His physical presence was as important to the people then as it is to us in the present era to know that He was here and lived as one of us. The statement that He did not come to make the Father’s love possible but to make it visible is not far from the truth.
As a teacher, I have come to realize that my physical presence and visible participation in the classroom and out in the lives of students is as important as my verbal and written acts of communication. And that if I would like to see people’s lives changed for the good, I must be part of that process. I must earn the right to impact people’s lives by earning their trust.
The Master Teacher did not just show up at the market place or in people’s houses just like that. He was there intentionally, always aware of the situation, the people and the need of the hour. Whatever He did reflected the acts of a man who was driven by clear, specific objectives every single step of the way. He did not leave anything to chance. His attitude and ministry to people was intentional.
As teachers, I believe that we must be very clear what our objectives are and why we actually chose to be teachers in the first place. When we prepare to step into the classroom, our primary objectives for becoming teachers should fuel the fulfillment of our secondary objectives of teaching. The words of a famous speaker come harking back to me very clearly as I key in these words, “Intent is prior to content.” Our intentions for becoming teachers must precede the content of our teaching methodology/curriculum. Here is how I see our tasks as teachers – the small goal of teaching could be to equip learners with skills or to impart knowledge to them but the bigger goal should flow from our reasons for answering the call to teaching.
The Master Teacher was deeply personal in His dealings with people to the point of offending observers. It is very rare to find an instance where He responded to a situation in a detached and disinterested manner. He was deeply affected by what He saw or observed around Him. His response, therefore, was not only cerebral but emotional and volitional – the whole person was involved. While it is not advisable to carry the weight of the whole class entirely on our feeble shoulders, to be totally aloof also is to risk becoming irrelevant and ineffective. I firmly believe that as the world becomes more and more digital we as teachers need to be more human in our interactions with learners.
 Billy Graham, Max Lucado, Anne Graham Lotz, and Stormie Omartian, Blessings of the Cross (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson. Inc., 2007).
 Ravi Zacharias, “Embodied Truth,” A Slice of Infinity, RZIM, April 11, 2012.
Jacob L. Shylla teaches English Literature at the undergraduate level at St. Anthony’s College, Shillong, India. He also trains English language teachers for cross-cultural work at a training center in Shillong. He currently lives in Shillong with his wife Gracia and seven month old son Ziah.