When it comes to hiring a new faculty member for next year, what qualities are you seeking? Allow me to encourage you to consider some recent research done by Dr. Laurie Matthias, assistant professor of education at Trinity International University. She wondered what themes and qualities would emerge from studying professors considered exemplary by their peers in the integration of faith and learning at Wheaton College. She discovered a common core virtue of integrity/wholeness in these individuals. This sense of integrity and wholeness resulted from these characteristics: genuine faith, an attitude of humility, passion for their academic discipline, and openness to change.
I certainly agree with her assessment and submit this attempt as a “Top Ten” list of qualities needed in a Christian teacher:
- Passion for God, kids, subject – in that order
- Desire for, and skill in, nurturing faith in kids
- Integrity – wholeness as a person (see above!)
- Strong emotional intelligence (what we sense about others and what we do with that awareness)
- Team player – working well with others
- Commitment to personal learning and flexibility with change
- Strong understanding of biblical perspective and skill in revealing God’s truth in the curriculum
- Desire to build community within classroom and school
- Sense of humor
What would you add or subtract?