The Love of Teaching

A young girl and her father, Ian, had joined a larger group of campers for a week of observing the heavens. My wife and I were part of the group. The father’s daughter caught my attention. Her incredible energy level was obvious with lap after lap of bike riding. Laura was also curious. If her father was talking to one of us, she would often quietly ride up, stop, and listen for a few minutes to hear what was being said. And, her father had a small telescope set up just for her. She was at that delightful “I am curious about everything” age.

He asked me about sketching the heavens and knew of our practice of doing lessons overseas and online. We do this so children and adults can learn to observe a little better but also appreciate our point of view: that God had made the universe, and the heavens were part of it for us to explore. They asked us to show them how we did this kind of observing, so we invited them to visit one night as we looked at an object and sketched it.

20140922-NGC-6229The little simple observing sheet shows the results but the real joy of the evening was simply sharing and teaching about how to do it. I showed them the process of noting anchor stars, setting them in proximity to each other correctly, varying their magnitude by the size of the “dot”, and how to represent a globular star cluster, which was our example for the evening. Of course, we talked about the Creator of the universe a little and communicated the excitement of self-discovering some of the details that He made so we could explore them.

One never knows what goes on inside the heads of children (or adults, for that matter) but we laid a seed about the greatness of our God while we discover and observe some of His creation. We may never see them again but joy of teaching a subject like this, knowing the Author of it is in our presence, makes every minute of a single night of observing worth it.

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