Teaching Tips: Growing in Respect, Learning to Fly

Beth Madison recently shared some of her tips on teaching in Humility, Caring, and Cheerleading. Here she follows up with a few teaching ideas learned from Ephesians.


Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

This passage encourages me to remember two things about my students when I’m teaching: 

  1. They need to fly–Like a mother eagle pushes her eaglets out of the nest to learn to fly, I try to push my students out of their comfort zones of previous knowledge, traditional thoughts, and prior exposure so they can know truth and for it to set them free (as per John 8:32). We talk a lot about what they think they know versus what really is–stories, statistics, experiments, and ultimately Scripture, are great building blocks for laying a new foundation of truth. I strive for my classes to be safe places to practice learning how to rightly think about issues far bigger than their own worlds and to realize the potentially far-reaching implications of their actions.
  1. They need to learn respect–Respect for God, Scripture, each other, and the material to be studied is key to the students actually being changed in heart and mind through what they are learning. They need to realize that they should be working hard to learn important material that can help them to help others as Christ would have them to do. Their time in my classes is not just about a grade or even about gaining knowledge, but about a far bigger picture of the value of love, respect, truth, and opportunities for service in daily choices, for now and hopefully for years to come.
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Beth Madison

Beth Madison holds a PhD in soil microbiology from Kansas State University, and an MS in agronomy from the University of Kentucky. She completed her undergraduate work in plant and soil science at the University of Tennessee. Beth has been teaching at the university level for nearly 22 years. She served as assistant professor at Western Kentucky University before "retiring" to be a stay-at-home mom for nearly 10 years while adjunct teaching at Waycross College (University of Georgia system) and then at Union University. When her youngest son began school, she returned to full-time teaching as an assistant professor at Union University. Beth has been married for 25 years to an awesome and selflessly giving man who loves God and His creation deeply as a professor of biology, also at Union University. Their favorite activities include being outside in the woods or on the water almost any time of the year, and visiting with friends while eating good food.

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