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Teacher Illustrations

  • A Sermon Walking

    train stationReporters and city officials gathered at a Chicago railroad station one afternoon in 1953. The person they were meeting was the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner. A few minutes after the train came to a stop, a giant of a man - six feet four inches - with bushy hair and a large mustache stepped from the train. Cameras flashed. City officials approached him with hands outstretched. Various people began telling him how honored they were to meet him.

    The man politely thanked them and then, looking over their heads, asked if he could be excused for a moment. He quickly walked through the crowd until he reached the side of an elderly black woman who was struggling with two large suitcases. He picked up the bags and with a smile, escorted the woman to a bus. After helping her aboard, he wished her a safe journey. As he returned to the greeting party he apologized, "Sorry to have kept you waiting."

    The man was Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous missionary doctor who had spent his life helping the poor in Africa. In response to Schweitzer's action, one member of the reception committee said with great admiration to the reporter standing next to him, "That's the first time I ever saw a sermon walking."

    - Author Unknown

  • Advice

    MozartA young man is reported to have approached the renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (one of the great musical prodigies of all time), and asked, "Herr Mozart, I have the ambition to write symphonies and perhaps you can advise me how to get started."

    Mozart said, "The best advice I can give you is to wait until you are older and more experienced, and try your hand at less ambitious pieces to begin with."

    The young man looked astonished. "But, Herr Mozart, you yourself wrote symphonies when you were considerably younger than I."

    "Ah," said Mozart, "but I did so without asking advice."

  • Back To School Notes

    back to_school_copyA wise school teacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of school:

    "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I'll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home."

  • Born Salesman

    boatI learned a lesson in marketing from a man who bought an old boat, a trailer, and a motor from me. "Thanks," he said as he loaded them up. "I'm planning to resell them."

    Good luck, I thought. I had been trying to get rid of them for months. But when I ran into him a few weeks later, he'd sold everything.

    "How did you manage that?" I marveled.

    "I took out an ad: 'Heavy-duty boat trailer with free boat.' When the buyer came to get it, I asked if he had a motor. He said no. I told him I happened to have one in my garage. Bought that, too."

  • Cakes and Ale and Legalism

    writingHere is a purported-to-be-true story someone found regarding exams at Cambridge University. It seems that during an examination one day, a bright young student popped up and asked the proctor to bring him cakes and ale. The following dialog ensued:

    Proctor: I beg your pardon?

    Student: Sir, I request that you bring me cakes and ale.

  • Communication

    teachIn promulgating your esoteric cogitations, or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable, philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity. Let your conversational communications possess a clarified conciseness, a compact comprehensibility, coalescent consistency, and a concatenated cogency. Eschew all conglomerations of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement and asinine affectations.

    Let your extemporaneous descantings and unpremeditated expatiations have intelligibility and veracious vivacity, without rhodomontade or thrasonical bombast. Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolixity, psittaceous vacuity, ventriloquial verbosity, and vaniloquent vapidity. Shun double-entendres, prurient jocosity, and pestiferous profanity, obscurant or apparent.

    In other words, talk plainly, briefly, naturally, sensibly, truthfully, purely. Keep from slang; don't put on airs; say what you mean; mean what you say.

    And DON'T USE BIG WORDS!

  • Empathy

    child sadA Sunday school teacher was telling her youngsters about Daniel and the Lion's Den. To illustrate the lesson she had a picture of Daniel standing, brave and confident, with a group of lions around him. Suddenly, one little girl started to cry.

    The teacher said, "Don't cry. The lions are not going to eat Daniel."

    Holding back sobs and tears the girl said, "That's not what I'm crying about. That little lion, over in the corner, isn't going to get anything to eat."

  • Grace

    students1This actually happened in a youth ministry class at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Missouri.

    I left work early so I could have some uninterrupted study time right before the final in my Youth Issues class.

    When I got to class, everybody was doing their last minute studying. The teacher came in and said he would review with us for just a little bit before the test. We went through the review, most of it right on the study guide, but there were some things he was reviewing that I had never heard of. When questioned about it, he said that they were in the book and we were responsible for everything in the book. We couldn't really argue with that.

    Finally it was time to take the test.

  • Jonah Comeback

    fisheyeA little girl was talking to her teacher about Jonah being swallowed by a great fish. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a fish to swallow a human because even though they were large their throat was very small.

    The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a large fish.

    The teacher reiterated that a fish could not swallow a human; it was impossible.

    The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah"

    The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

    The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."

  • Learning From Snowmen

    snowman"All I Need to Know about Life I Learned From a Snowman.... "

    It's okay if you're a little bottom heavy.

    Hold your ground, even when the heat is on.

    Wearing white is always appropriate.

    Winter is the best of the four seasons.

    It takes a few extra rolls to make a good midsection.

    There's nothing better than a foul weather friend.

    The key to life is to be a jolly, happy soul.

    We're all made up of mostly water.

    You know you've made it when they write a song about you.

    Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize!

    Avoid yellow snow. Don't get too much sun.

    It's embarrassing when you can't look down and see your feet.

    It's fun to hang out in your front yard.

    Always put your best foot forward.

    There's no stopping you once you're on a roll.

  • Legalism 3

    jewish scrollA Rabbi was walking home from the Temple and saw one of his good friends, a pious and learned man who could usually beat the rabbi in religious arguments.

    The rabbi started walking faster so that he could catch up to his friend, when he was horrified to see his friend go into a non kosher Chinese restaurant. Standing at the door, he observed his friend talking to a waiter and gesturing at a menu. A short time later, the waiter reappeared carrying a platter full of spare ribs, shrimp in lobster sauce, crab rangoon and other treif that the Rabbi could not bear to think about.

  • Liar Lesson

    class1A Sunday school teacher was giving her class the assignment for the next week.

    "Next Sunday," she said, "we are going to talk about liars, and in preparation for our lesson I want you all to read the seventeenth chapter of Mark."

    The following week, at the beginning of the class meeting, the teacher said, "Now then, all of you who have prepared for the lesson by reading the seventeenth chapter of Mark, please step to the front of the room."

    About half the class rose and came forward.

    "The rest of you may leave," said the teacher. "These students are the ones I want to talk to. There is no seventeenth chapter in the Book of Mark."

  • Mandatory Attendance

    university profIt used to be that in order for a college student to receive credit for a particular course, a card that listed his or her courses had to be signed by the instructor/lecturer. It was, at the time, policy that students attend their courses. But depending on the size of the class, it was often possible to receive credit, even after not attending the class regularly.

    Not so with this physics professor. If he didn't recognize you, you would have to repeat the course. On one occasion, a student handed his card to the professor to be signed. The professor looked at the name, then at the student, and said, "I've never seen you in my class," and handed back the card.

  • Nerves of Steel

    airplaneMy friend, an ex-Marine Aviator wanted to show off his new twin-engine plane. I was riding along as he put it through its paces.

    Suddenly, we were caught in a violent thunderstorm, with lightning crashing all around us.

    Next, we lost the radio and most of the instruments.

    As we were being tossed around in the sky, George said, "Uh-oh!" Fearing the worst, I asked, "What's wrong now?"

    George replied, "I got the hiccups. Do something to scare me."

  • Parental Supervision

    classroomThe math teacher saw that little Davie wasn't paying attention in class. She called on him and said, "Davie! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?"

    Little Davie quickly replied, "NBC, CBS, HBO and the Cartoon Network!"

  • Prayer In School

    university buildingBeing interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said: "Let me see if I've got this right.

    You want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning. And I'm supposed to instil a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their T-shirt messages and dress habits.

    You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self-esteem.

  • Psalm 23 Summary

    bible girlA Sunday school teacher asked her class if anyone could quote the entire 23rd Psalm.

    A golden-haired, four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm. The little girl came to the front of the room, faced the class, made a perky little bow, and said, "The Lord is my shepherd, that's all I want."

    She bowed again and went and sat down.

    That may well be the greatest interpretation of the 23rd Psalm ever heard.

  • Punishment vs. Vengeance

    police pull overA schoolteacher was given a ticket for driving through a red light.

    When she appeared in traffic court, she asked the judge for immediate attention to her case as she was due to be back in class.

    The judge looked at her sternly and said:

    "So you're a schoolteacher. I am about to realize a lifelong ambition. You sit down at that table over there and write 'I went through a stop sign.' FIVE HUNDRED TIMES!"

  • Simple Obedience

    child and dadToday Kathryn "graduates" from Kindergarten.

    This morning while she was getting dressed, she insisted on wearing a skirt under her dress. I tried in vain to talk her out of it. Since she's never worn the two together before, I asked her where she got the idea of wearing the skirt with the dress.

    She said during graduation practice, one of the teachers said,

    "Girls will wear dresses and skirts."

  • Studying

    student1There was a kid taking a Statistics Class in college (STT101). He finished his exam in half the time allotted, and the rest of the time he sat and flipped a coin.

    The teacher asked what he was doing and he said,

    "I'm checking my answers."

  • Triple Filter Test, Gossip, Slander

    ancient greeceIn ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.

    One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

    "Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

    "Triple filter?"

  • Trust

    classAs a new school Principal, Mr. Mitchell was checking over his school on the first day. Passing the stockroom, he was startled to see the door wide open and teachers bustling in and out, carrying off books and supplies in preparation for the arrival of students the next day.

    The school where he had been a Principal the previous year had used a check-out system only slightly less elaborate than that at Fort Knox.

    Cautiously, he asked the school's long time Custodian, "Do you think it's wise to keep the stock room unlocked and to let the teachers take things without requisitions?"

    The Custodian looked at him gravely. "We trust them with the children, don't we?"

  • Vengeance

    judges gavelIn the traffic court of a large Midwestern city, a young woman was brought before the judge to answer for a ticket she received for driving through a red light.

    She explained to the judge that she was a school teacher and requested an immediate dismissal of her case so she could get to the school on time.

    A wild gleam came into the judge's eyes.

    "You're a schoolteacher?" he said. "Madam, I shall realize my lifelong ambition. I've waited years to have a schoolteacher in this court.

    Now sit down at that table and write 'I will not drive through red lights' 500 times!"