Adventist Teachers: Journey to Excellence

Christian Growth December 29, 2022

In 2002, the Education Department of General Conference established a motto for Adventist education: Journey to Excellence. The excellence we see in our Creator and Redeemer should inspire us to nothing less than the best. In Education, Ellen G. White noted that the true teacher is not satisfied with second-rate work: 

He is not satisfied with directing his students to a standard lower than the highest that it is possible for them to attain. He cannot be content with imparting to them only technical knowledge…. It is his ambition to inspire them with principles of truth, obedience, honor, integrity, and purity—principles that will make them a positive force for the stability and uplifting of society.

Kovalski shared the ten goals that students should achieve in Adventist schools: acceptance of God, commitment to the Church, interpersonal relationships, responsible citizenship, healthy balanced living, intellectual development, communication skills, personal management, aesthetic appreciation, career, and service. 

In order to help our students achieve these goals, Adventist educators also need to become excellent in our service. We cannot ensure excellence in our students without striving to become excellent educators. To help Adventist educators reach towards excellence, the Journey to Excellence website provides goals for teachers and administrators to focus on as we grow as educators: 

  1. Promote student achievement, spiritual growth, and enthusiasm for learning by choosing instructional methods with those goals in mind.
  2. Effectively deliver instruction by:
  • being knowledgeable about learning styles 
  • staying current with research and professional growth activities
  • helping students identify their dominant learning styles and providing opportunities to strengthen less-developed learning styles
  • employing a variety of instructional strategies to meet the learning styles of individual students
  1. Develop a community of learners by effectively balancing major instructional strategies, including:
  • experiential and outdoor learning
  • faith-sharing activities and service projects 
  • field trips and community-based activities
  • interesting and engaging lectures of an age-appropriate length
  • individualized instruction
  • problem-based learning and critical thinking instruction
  • case studies and laboratory experiences
  • extended projects
  • cooperative learning methods
  • leadership activities
  • affective education such as social skills training
  • remediation and enrichment activities
  • ongoing assessment of individual needs
  1. Make sure the curriculum helps students to see connections between many fields of learning by: 
  • Integrating faith through the curriculum
  • Building connections between different disciplines
  • Cooperating with other teachers to integrate curriculum between disciplines and grade levels
  1. Measure student progress and development in a variety of meaningful ways such as:
  • Traditional written assessments
  • Standardized tests
  • Performance-based assessments such as peer assessments, portfolios, products, and student led-conferences
  1. Use assessment as the basis for:
  • Enrichment and remediation
  • Individualized instruction
  • Curricular modifications
  • Reporting student progress and mastery of objectives
  • Teacher self-evaluation

It is not easy to be an excellent Adventist educator. No one is perfect, but we can strive towards the growth God wants for us. We can commit to growing as educators and work continuously towards becoming the most excellent educators it is possible for us to be. 

Author

Ellen Juita Gultom

Ellen, M.Ed, is a English Lecturer in Foreign Language Institution of LIA, Jakarta, Indonesa. Head of Research and Community Service of LIA Institution. Serving as teacher in several Adventists Schools and non-Adventist Institution in Indonesia for 24 years. Alumni of AIIAS, Philippines.

    1 comments

  • | January 2, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    A very rich resource for Adventist educators, We thank God for such an effort.

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