Know Your Subject

"What must I know and do to be a good teacher?" a newly appointed Sunday School teacher asked herself. The answer came as she recalled the following experience.

Shortly before retiring from the teaching profession, she attended a faculty meeting conducted by a university professor who presented the results of his survey of the weaknesses in his vocation. This survey indicated that one of the greatest weaknesses was the teacher's ignorance of his subject. Not all mathematics teachers had an application of their subject to new scientific fields; some English teachers did not use correct grammar; likewise, history teachers sometimes knew only dates and names of campaigns, rather than the underlying causes and ultimate achievements. Occasionally foreign language teachers knew how to conjugate verbs with mathematical accuracy, but could not speak the language. His parting admonition was, "Know your subject; then the method for teaching it will be secondary, and students will learn."

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April 21, 1962
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