Posted by: deerharas | January 22, 2006

01.22.06

So I was reading the Xanga of an aquaintance from church who happens to be in seminary, and he had posted a whole essay he had written as an assignment for one of his courses.  So taking a cue from this person, I have decided to post my first assignment for my “Techniques for Teaching Adults” class that’s due tomorrow.  We had to write three paragraphs on our favorite teacher.  (I know what you’re thinking … are you really in graduate school, Sarah?)  So here, for your reading pleasure, is my submission.  Oh, and I have a little assigment for you at the end.

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Throughout my years as a student I was tremendously blessed with good teachers, so it is a difficult decision to settle on one as my “favorite.”  I’ve had teachers who I admired, who inspired me, and who challenged me.  Although personality-wise, I would have to say Dr. Ridenour, who taught me two philosophy courses in college, was my favorite, it was Dr. Kelly who impacted me the most and who I would argue was my best all around professor.  I had Dr. Kelly for seven classes at OBU: Introduction to Ministry, New Testament, Greek 1-4, and Biblical Hermeneutics.  After the hours upon hours of classes together, I feel like I have a good point of reference to offer an opinion on what made him such an outstanding professor. 

What I appreciated most about Dr. Kelly was the scope of his knowledge in the area of New Testament studies.  It was obvious from the first day of class how much he had to offer his students.  He was not tied to one teaching method, but utilized whatever method would best communicate the material.  Dr. Kelly was organized and well prepared; his syllabi were expansive and well researched.  He prided himself on being tough, although sometimes I think this was a result of being the significantly younger of the two New Testament professors; it occasionally seemed as though he had something to prove.  He set high expectations for his students.  In my Greek courses students were accountable for doing translation assignments which he would call on us at random to translate in class.  Although we received grades for our readings, I was motivated more by a desire to impress or at least not embarrass myself in front of Dr. Kelly.  I cherished his praise and appreciated his criticism. 

While possessing the basic qualities of a good teacher, Dr. Kelly also possessed the charisma that makes a great teacher exceptional.  His New Testament Survey classes were always quick to fill up with students eager to learn from the well renowned Dr. Kelly.  Part of me wanted to not like him at first because of his immense popularity.  My respect for him grew, however, based on his natural ability to teach, and his personality only enhanced that ability.  Dr. Kelly was first and foremost authentic.  He was a real person, with interests and a life outside of the classroom.  From his Seinfeld quotations, to his jogging anecdotes, to his scheduling tests during March Madness (so he could go to a game and not cancel class), Dr. Kelly was a well rounded individual.  He often served as interim pastor at churches, and it was easy to see him make the connection between what he taught in the classroom and the real world.  He cared about students and their lives; he occasionally prayed for us before exams.  One semester a student’s father passed away unexpectedly, and that evening Dr. Kelly had him over to his house to spend the night.  The next day he said something along the lines of how on that night it didn’t matter what that student’s grade was or how many times he had missed class; he was just a person in need of comfort.  Overall, Dr. Kelly was passionate about God’s word, and his passion was contagious.  He approached his responsibilities as a teacher with enthusiasm and commitment.  His profound impact on my education qualifies him as “my favorite teacher.”

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 So here’s your assignment: Who is/was your favorite teacher and why?  That’s right, I am officially soliciting comments.  It’s not that hard … you write a name and a sentence.  I have full confidence in you, my fellow Xangans!

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