The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

October 14, 2013

A Great Teacher

By Doug Creamer

Monday, October 14, 2013 — When school began this year I was told that I would be required to attend some workshops. I was not excited about that prospect and my attitude worsened as the time approached. The first morning of the workshop I had a difficult time having positive thoughts. The main reason I felt this way is that most workshops are led by someone who thinks they know all the answers to education’s problems. If everyone did what the speaker said, every student would achieve greatness.

When I walked in the first day, I was pleasantly surprised. The workshop was being led by someone I know and respect. She wasn’t there to peddle her latest book, she was there because she knows we are good teachers who are doing our best to reach and teach kids. She was there because she wanted to help us become better teachers.

Everyone can improve including great teachers. The presenter offered research about multiple successful teaching methods, modeled several techniques and taught us some of the ways good teachers become great. The presenter stressed that no one method was best but that each one of us had to discover our own techniques that fit our personality in our classrooms.

We were given time to get together with teachers from other schools who teach the same subjects that we teach. This gave us the opportunity to share with each other things that we have found to be successful in our classrooms. When we are given the opportunity to share our best practices, we all become better teachers. I heard about things I have never tried but plan to because my colleagues say they really work.

Finally, we were given the opportunity to create something new based on the successful methods we had been hearing about in the workshop. Teachers are rarely given the opportunity to create new lessons in this kind of environment. We were given brand new tools and the opportunity to use those tools to create effective lessons to take back to our students.

Jesus was one of the best teachers in history. I have been trying to think about what He did that made Him so great in His classroom. The first thing that came to my mind is that he used relevant examples that every listener could relate to and understand.

In Jesus’ day everyone planted a garden and understood the principles of sowing and reaping. Every listener had probably lost something in their lives and they understood the joy one feels when you find it.

Jesus genuinely cared for His students. He understood human weakness, condemning the sin but loving the sinner. Jesus believed that people could live better and if shown the way would rise above their circumstances to live great lives. He modeled what seemed impossible to show the way to live. Jesus taught the principles and then lived what He believed.

Jesus led His life according to God’s plan and purpose. Jesus didn’t perform miracles to put on a show, they were done to illustrate God’s love and to bring about change in people’s lives. When Jesus taught He wasn’t trying to gain followers but He wanted His listeners to connect with God the Father. When Jesus died it was because it was a part of God’s plan so that God could have a relationship with each human being through His one and only Son.

Jesus’ charisma and passion were so infectious people were drawn to Him. He took a rag-tag group of guys and made them into disciples who turned the world upside down. Jesus didn’t reach everyone in His generation, but to those who came to Him, He showed them a better way to live.

If I want to be a great teacher then I need His passion and I need to believe that I can make a difference in my students’ lives. You can make a difference in people’s lives if you will live with passion, joy, peace, faith, hope, and love … after all, who can resist that?

I want to encourage you to consider the difference between being good at what you do and being great. The world needs godly men and women in every occupation to bring His light and love to a dark world. He needs you to live above mediocrity to draw attention to yourself so you can turn people’s eyes toward heaven. We are the light and we need to point them to Jesus who will teach them a new and better way to live.


Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email