Imagine: Your student Patrick is in an accident. Amazingly, he’s OK. Or at least everyone thinks he is. Then his parents notice that Patrick no longer recalls, asks, or writes down questions, three things he used to do. And he doesn’t process questions either. It’s as if he doesn’t hear them when someone speaks or see them when reading. Patrick’s parents take him to a specialist, get a check-up, and learn that for the foreseeable future, he’ll be unable to ask or process questions.
Not a single one.
Can’t ask or answer: How are you? What do you want to do? Will you marry me? Can’t ask or answer: How can I pray for you? What does this verse mean? How does God see this? Can’t ask or answer: What’s the assignment? What career looks good? How can we get this done?
Patrick can’t ask or answer a single question. Until further notice. Possibly for the rest of his life.
How do you feel? I feel worse than terrible. Questions are racing around in my head: How will this affect his relationships? His home life? His friendships? His spiritual growth and church life? His education? His career possibilities?
You don’t want Patrick’s situation to continue. You want him to get better. Right now. So do I. Why? Because like you, I know how valuable questions are to Patrick.
So, how valuable are questions? Extremely valuable. Indispensable.
As a teacher, ask yourself 2 questions:
- If my students couldn’t ask or answer a single question, how would this affect their understanding and use of a biblical perspective?
- If I couldn’t ask or answer a single question, how would this affect my ability to help my students understand and use a biblical perspective?
So, what’s the real question? It’s not “How valuable are questions?” or even “How will I demonstrate that I value questions?” The real question is “How will I use questions today to help my students understand and use a biblical perspective?”
Remember: Success is your students increasing their understanding and use of a biblical perspective by genuinely responding to your questions. Success is not you knowing that questions are valuable or even you demonstrating the value you place on questions.
But identifying the value you place on questions can help you more intentionally demonstrate the value you place on questions. And if you more intentionally demonstrate the value you place on questions, you will ask more questions, and, consequently, your students will respond to more questions.
Get your students to sincerely respond to a good question. Today.
© Michael B. Essenburg 2006 • Close the Gap