WHY TEACHING MATHEMATICS IS A SACRED CALLING
1. Teaching requires consistent modeling, mastery of content, skilled instruction, wise counseling, a servant’s heart, and God’s calling on each teacher’s life.
2. For mathematics, it is impossible to teach it effectively without inspiration and passion. Inspirational teachers are those who can teach in ways that are relevant and exciting to students.
3. The importance of good teaching in mathematics is not in doubt. Teachers are absolutely the key in determining whether a young person succeeds or fails in mathematics. For many students it is the teacher’s call that serves not only as the starting point for the task of understanding mathematics but also as a source of encouragement, focus, and renewal.
4. Mathematics teachers are a unique breed set apart from most teachers. It is the setting apart for a specific work that must distinguish the mathematics educator from all others.
5. The work of mathematics education today includes restoring the bad image of mathematics in students, and thus mathematics education must be seen as more of a remedial work.
6. The work of the mathematics teacher, therefore, goes beyond imparting knowledge through skilled instruction. The role of the mathematics teacher is redemptive in the sense that the teacher is leading young people into a nurturing, cultivating and saving a relationship with mathematics.
7. It is also pastoral in the sense that young people, once redeemed, are taught to obey and be transformed into useful mathematicians for the society or for other upcoming younger mathematics students. This work is therefore unending and in that wise a true calling.
8. Mathematics teachers are like pastors within their classrooms, while pastors are teachers within a congregational setting. But for the passionate mathematics educator, there is the certainty of being set apart for a mathematics ministry.
9. The call Is one of God’s ways for shaping the hearts of students. The call is a “specific setting aside for initiating, guiding, positioning, and intervening in the schooling experiences of students.. It is therefore a clear responsibility for teachers to hear, respond, search, order, and reorder. Passionate mathematics educators who are called can testify to the reality of this process, and it is this reality that is the bedrock of their work .
10. Every parent or school desires to see the lives of its students transformed especially in mathematics. Passionate teachers invest their lives on the basis of the expectation of this transformation, and this expectation is tied directly to the call of each teacher.
11. For every passionate mathematics teacher, there is an anointing of the mind and soul for the work. This anointing is the energizing work that enables and sustains such teachers to succeed in the end and produce fruits from their gardens of labor and love.
12. As a passionate mathematics teacher you feel confidently bestowed with knowledge, skill and oral authority to do the work involved. You know and feel this anointment in your head and within your bones that your capabilities go way past what is required of you by the school or its management. Above all you get constantly reminded or asked from within you whether you are doing well enough up to the level of your given capabilities. Your only joy is when you observe the faces of your students light up or when they are happy to participate in activities planned along with your lessons.
13. Teaching mathematics passionately is a very demanding job. Unfortunately many mathematics teachers get discouraged by poor remuneration or because teaching is neither their calling nor a job they looked forward to being part of. For many mathematics teachers it is difficult to see any glimpse of happiness or passion with the job on their faces.
14. No school, whether public or private, is immune to this problem. But passionate teachers who find themselves in situations like this must remind themselves daily of their calling to intervene actively in the lives of their students and to guide and motivate them by the vision that the renewal of students brings. Students definitely need passionate mathematics teachers who reflect the joy, passion, and dedication that accompany a calling. This type of teachers are important for reaching and transforming young lives in mathematics classrooms
15. If the goals of mathematical education are merely academic, there is no need beyond a “vocational calling.” However, if the goals include an emphasis on relevance to society and building up a new generation of mathematicians to motivate and develop others, then being a passionate mathematics teacher is more like a divine appointment or calling.
16. This contemplation of a call requires a sobering assessment. Do you honestly feel within that you have a call to teach mathematics? Can you point to a time you really felt inside of you that you ought to have a ministry for teaching mathematics? If not, perhaps this lack explains some of the frustration and discouragement accompanying your work.
17. But if you know that teaching mathematics is your calling then perhaps some fresh passion and a renewed commitment are what you need. Our handbook has been prepared to help you receive fresh anointing for the job. We wish and pray that you will find satisfaction and re-establishment through its pages.
AN EXTRACT FROM
A HANDBOOK FOR THE PASSIONATE MATHEMATICS TEACHER
ONE OF THE 7 HANDBOOKS ON MATHEMATICS WE ARE PUBLISHING IN 2020
LAGOS BOOKS CLUB