From Chris Murphy ’81
Teaches Education Professions Class
The Education Professions course was designed to help students explore the possibility of teaching as a future vocation. Because it is a year-long course, we are also able to delve into other church-related careers, as well. Each week, a guest speaker joins our class and shares their personal journey of how they became involved in ministry. These speakers are teachers, camp directors, pastors, guidance counselors, and administrators — a huge variety of vocations. The students spend time in our textbook, “Becoming a Teacher,” learning more about what is involved in becoming a teacher. They get the opportunity in the fall and in the spring to actually teach in our Lutheran elementary schools. They do this through our local Junior Achievement program. They teach 2nd-5th graders for five weeks. They also spend time at St. Peter’s Lutheran School, working with the kindergarten-2nd graders on two of their Fun Fridays.
I believe this class has been highly successful. Students hear regularly from professionals in the field what it is like to be a teacher. I also share my story and personal experiences in the classroom. Students have a very full understanding of this wonderful vocation. Above all, they learn to understand what God’s calling is and how this applies to their lives.
This is the second year for this course, and we are already seeing an increase in the number of students who are choosing to enter the teaching ministry. I am tracking students from this class and keeping in contact with them, as well as a large group of our college seniors who are currently student teaching. As most of our speakers will attest to, the biggest influence in their following of this career path is a nudge or tap on the shoulder from a trusted adult in their life — someone who sees something in them that they perhaps cannot see themselves. Once they have been encouraged, they learn to listen to God’s voice, and see if, indeed, this is a path they should consider.
For me personally, this is a great way to give back to our future teachers. To see our Lutheran schools continue well into the future, we need the young people of today to step up and work alongside their teachers of today. It is very fulfilling to see students choose this path and be able to encourage them along the way. God has blessed me in so many ways, and it is amazing to see Him work in the lives of these young people.