21 Oct 22

The ‘How’ Matters Just as Much as the ‘What’

Newsletter | Teaching and Learning

Have you ever asked a young prep student to explain a maths problem they have worked out? It goes something like this:

Teacher: “So explain to me how you worked out the answer?”

Prep student: : “I did it in my head.”

Teacher: “Great! But explain what steps you took in your head. Where did you start? What did you do? How did you get there?”

Prep student: “My brain just told me what to do.”

Having knowledge of something and getting to the end is wonderful. However, it is always intriguing thinking about how we get there. In fact, if we view teaching and learning through God’s eyes, it’s probably more important than anything else.

Here’s a passage from Corinthians, taken from The Message translation. It talks about self-discipline: 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No lazy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

Don’t you just love how this is put? Now, we don’t want to take Paul’s writings out of context, and he is ultimately talking about our walk with Christ. However, in our walk with Christ, we ought to be wondering, how should we be approaching life? In a Christian School context, we ask ourselves, how can we show self-discipline as we are working toward our ‘goals’? 

It was a privilege to watch our Year 12s finish well this week. As a school, we hope that each student does well in their final year studies, but what we are most proud of is the way they have, as a learning community, conducted themselves, disciplined themselves and supported one another through the learning process. Only one can get that top mark, but they have all worked to finish the race well – and together. 

To each of our students, if we can encourage you in one thing today, it would be ‘run to win!’ How are you working to achieve your goals? Are you working hard? Staying alert? Looking after your body? Just remember – getting there is great, but ‘how’ we get there matters just as much. 

The Secondary Teaching and Learning Team