Christian English Teacher Humility Essay

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Within the broader TESOL community, recent years have seen an increase in dialogue between two groups – critical practitioners (CP) and Christian English teachers (CET) who seek to combine their calling to teach with their calling to be a witness. While some are skeptical about the compatibility of these two callings (Pennycook, 2009; Phillipson, 2009), others have laid out a vision for how one might be both a critical practitioner and a Christian English teacher (Wong & Canagarajah, 2009; Purgason, 2009) citing the character traits of respect and humility as being key to this endeavor (Snow, 2009; Purgason, 2009). Much of the discussion on humility has centered around its role in dialogue (Canagarajah, 2009); language learning …show more content…

This quote gives us a glimpse of humility which the dictionary defines as “freedom from pride or arrogance” (, 2018a) and “the absence of any feelings of being better than others” (Merriam-, 2018b). Certainly, these definitions have much to say about an English teacher’s attitude toward the places and people where they teach and serve. The biblical depiction of humility, however, lends a slightly different nuance to the concept that adds richness and depth. In Scripture, humility is found not in comparison to other people, but rather in the recognition of our lowly position before God. Consider the following definitions, “Humility is an attitude of the heart that naturally recognizes that we are lower than God and owe our lives to Him” (Truth or tradition, n.d.). Humility is “an attitude of lowliness and obedience, grounded in the recognition of one’s status before God as his creatures” (Manser, 2009). Humility then is not so much a positioning of ourselves in comparison to others, but rather an inward posture of the heart that recognizes one’s position before …show more content…

The first is the connection between humility and one’s position in relationship to God. Christians are told to humble themselves “in the presence of the Lord” (James 4:10); “under the mighty hand of God” (1 Pet. 5:6); and to walk humbly with their God (Mic. 6:8). In addition, two of the passages emphasize “putting on” or “clothing” oneself with humility. This evokes a vivid picture. As a person chooses the clothing they put on each morning, CET also choose to view themselves with humility recognizing their position under God. Finally, one can’t help but notice the connection between humility and exaltation. This highlights the paradoxical nature of God’s economy. The pathway to exaltation or greatness is not to lift oneself up in pride, but rather to lower oneself to serve and walk in humility. Likewise, notice that it is never man who exalts himself, but rather

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