The role of Christian school principals is to reconnect teachers with their calling from God, said teacher and author Werner Cloete at the launch of his book, First Class — the Calling and Impact of a Christian Teacher.
Teachers who rediscovered their Godly calling would follow the example of missionary teachers who laid down their lives to establish schools in South Africa, he told delegates at a SA Teacher’s Union principals’ seminar on a game farm near Jeffrey’s Bay on February 8.
Cloete said the inspiration for his book was sparked during an 18 months teaching stint in the United Kingdom during which he became overwhelmed with the sense of being on mission in a foreign land.
“We need to recapture the sense of mission in teaching. Those pioneer teachers saw themselves as missionaries and it was so liberating for them,” he said.
He said: “My dream is that people who read the book will reconnect with their calling – and realise that they are in education just to bless people, just to serve people and carry out the commands of the Lord.”
The greatest need in education was not for better-equipped schools but for better-motivated teachers, he said.
Heavy workloads, disappointments and staffroom negativity had led many Christian teachers to forget why they became teachers in the first place.
Principals were positioned to reconnect teachers with their ‘whys’ thereby inspiring them with a sense of significance and purpose. The heads should also be sure to hire people who knew why they were teachers. Teachers who only knew what to do would work for their salaries. Teachers who knew why they were there would give their all.
Cloete, who is passionate about restoring fatherhood, also encouraged the principals to consider participating in the Engage movement that he established at Paul Roos Gymnasium where he is a science master. Engage utilises the strategic position of schools to equip fathers to take up a positive role in their children’s lives. Quoting transformational leader Cassie Carstens, he said fathers’ failure to take up their rightful role was the single biggest problem in the world.
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