Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Teacher

Teach - to cause to know something; to accustom to some action or attitude; to cause to know the disagreeable consequences of some action; to guide the studies of; to impart knowledge of; to instruct by precept, example, or experience; to make known and accepted; to conduct instruction regularly in school;

Synonym discussion:
Teach applies to any manner of imparting information or skill so that others may learn.

Instruct suggests methodical or formal teaching.

Educate implies development of the mind.

Train stresses instruction and drill with a specific end in view.

Discipline implies training in habits of order and precision.

School implies training or disciplining especially in what is hard to master.

Greek word for teach is Didasko - to learn, know, or teach.

Greek word for teacher is Didaskolos - to teach.  Teacher.  Used of Jesus, a title of respect indicating that He was a recognized authority in the interpretation of Scripture.

Teacher - one that teaches, especially one whose occupation is to instruct.

Hebrew word for  teach is yarah3 to teach, instruct, give guidance.

Hebrew word for teacher is lamad - to learn, train for; to be trained; to teach, instruct, cause to learn

   My favorite teacher of all time, Mrs. Faus, was my junior high choir teacher.  She was my teacher for three years, grades 7-9.  The reason that Mrs. Faus is in my hall of favorites is because she saw something in me early in the start of seventh grade that took me to a height I would not have reached if it hadn't been for her.

   Let me explain.  I grew up living next door to my grandparents.  When I was in the second or third grade, my grandmother bought herself a two keyboard electric organ.  Until that point I had no idea that my grandmother could play music and she told me that she could and that her mother had also played the organ in church.

   This organ was pretty fancy for the 1970's.  It had the ability to add instruments to the music, like the digital pianos have now, but back then, it was pretty fancy stuff.  You could add drums to your music, a waltz background and three or four other background choices.  It was awesome!!

   Well, what does a bored granddaughter do in the summer when there is an organ in the house?  Pound on it, right?  I started plunking around on it and began begging my mother to find a piano teacher so that I could learn how to play like Grandma played.

   It just so happened that our church organist, Mrs. Kremmer, was willing to teach me piano.  (I didn't know it at the time, but she had an ulterior motive - she was training me to play so that she could take a Sunday off now and then from her organ duties).  But I digress.
   For two years I walked to Mrs. Kremmer's house for my piano lesson, then in the evenings I would go to Grandma's house to practice on her organ.  Before too long, the music that I started learning to play exceeded the keys on Grandma's organ, so as I gradually started playing more difficult music, I couldn't practice (as well) on the organ.

   So I began begging for a piano. I had already been begging for a piano from the start of piano lessons, but my  mother, wise as she was, would not buy a piano because she felt that it was something I would get bored with quickly.  Her stipulation was that I had to take piano lessons for two years before she would consider buying a piano for our house.

   It was around this time, and two years of lessons in my review mirror that I started outgrowing the keyboard on Grandma's organ, so my mother found a used piano and I began practicing on that.

  Soon after buying the piano, around the summer before I started seventh grade, I started getting bored with playing and practicing, just as my mother had feared!  Mrs. Kremmer couldn't take me much farther in teaching, she had accomplished what she set out to do in teaching me, I could play hymns well enough for someone to follow and sing along, so she advised my mother to find another piano teacher.

   So I began going to a different teacher right around the time I started seventh grade.  I'm not sure how Mrs. Faus found out that I played piano, probably as obnoxious as I was she heard me bragging about it or something like that.  Anyway, one day, after choir she took me aside and asked me if I would like to learn how to accompany the choir.  I don't know if she formally asked me or if she just said I was going to do it, either way, she began grooming me to be a choral accompanist.

    With good coaching and lots of practice, I was able to accompany the choir and continued to accompany choirs through high school.  (All the while filling in for Mrs. Kremmer from time to time).

   Had Mrs. Faus not pulled me aside and plunked me down in front of that piano, I probably would have quit, the piano my mom bought would have set in our living room gathering dust.  But she, being a good teacher, taught me.  Not only how to play and accompany, but she instilled in me a LOVE of learning to play, a love to be challenged in more difficult pieces of music, but most important, she believed I could do it. She saw it in me.  I think the good teachers see the potential in their students and spur them on to challenge themselves to stretch and to try new things.

   Mrs. Kremmer started the ball rolling, she wanted me to be able to play hymns and that is one of my favorite things to play now.  Mrs. Faus taught me how to love to play and love to learn how to play better.

   So what does any of this have to do with Jesus and an attribute of His.  Well, many have said that He was a good teacher.  He taught well.  And they leave Him with that title alone, not recognizing His purpose, His power, His Sacrifice of saving the world.

   Jesus was and is a good teacher.  He teaches in many ways, always with His Word in hand, many things about life, challenges, eternity, relationships.  He sees the potential in us, His students, to teach and to challenge us to use our gifts in ways we hadn't imagined.  Ways we would never had guessed could be used.

   A good teacher doesn't give up on the student.  I believe that as long as a student wants to learn the good teacher will teach.  The good teacher teaches.  The good teacher sees the potential in the student.

   Jesus does.  He sees the potential in all of us.  He uses the challenges we face to grow us and make us better, like a good teacher does.  He doesn't coddle us, Mrs. Faus never once coddled me, nor did Mrs. Kremmer and my other good teachers.  Jesus inspires us to keep on, to push through, to practice that scale one more time.

T is for Teacher.


   I hope you take the time to look at the verses I've included at the bottom of this.  They are just a handful of the verses that use the above defined Hebrew and Greek words.  As you look them up, and please, look up at least ONE of them, think about who your favorite teacher was or is.  What did they teach you?  How has it made you who you are today?

Exodus 4:12, 15; 35:34; Deuteronomy 4:1, 9, 10, 14; 11:19; Judges 3:2;  13:8; Job 6:24; Psalm 25:4-5; 27:11; 32:8;  51:6; 86:11; 90:12; 119:66-68; Matthew 5:2; Luke 6:40; 11:1; 12:12; John 8:2; 14:26; Romans 2:21; 15:4; Titus 2:2-3; Hebrews 5:12; 1 John 2:27


  1. So much to think about. I have had the blessing of many good teachers, but the first one that came to mind was our Rabbi when I was growing up. It was a small congregation and he taught the older grades himself. I learned about prayers and history, but the best lesson was about faith.

  2. What a blessing, Carol! And you were at the age when learning about faith was so important. I'm always amazed by how certain people, topics, lessons stick in our mind. Thanks for sharing yours. Have a wonderful day.