Sabbath School Teacher of the Year: Josephine Van Horn Rogers

Sabbath School Teacher of the Year:  Josephine Van Horn Rogers

Oct 28, 2014

Sabbath School Teacher of the Year:

Josephine Van Horn Rogers


What makes a great teacher? One hallmark of a great teacher is that the teacher helps students be motivated, even excited, to learn. How can you tell if a student is excited to learn? By watching them and seeing how they react when opportunities come along. Consider this quote:


You can tell her students love her class as they quickly leave snack time and run toward the door when the bell rings for Sabbath School to begin. In my eight years of being the Sabbath School superintendent, I have never had a problem getting children to go to her class; they are always willing and eager. Jo has a special gift of knowing how to make learning about Jesus fun. That, along with a lot of patience and dedication, is why I feel she is an especially effective teacher.


Can you see in those words a group of motivated students? We sure could. We appreciated that Fedette Leda, the Sabbath School superintendent of the Salem Seventh Day Baptist Church (Salem, WV) concluded her description of Jo Rogers’ effective teaching skills and practices for the Sabbath School Teacher of the Year nomination form in that manner.


Josephine Van Horn Rogers, much better known as Jo Rogers, is the 2014 Sabbath School Teacher of the Year and recipient of the Crystal Apple. She has taught a Sabbath School class nearly every year for the last 28 years — anything from preschool through fifth grade. Even when she was not teaching, the church knew they could count on her to be available as a substitute. For the past 4 years, she has been teaching the Pre-K and Kindergarten class. Jo’s teaching and influence extends beyond the class room. She encourages former students to stay connected with the church and to participate in the ministry of the church. One student, who was in Jo’s class in the second and third grades, later co-taught with Jo as the student moved through High School. She now teaches her own class.


Jo is an example of one great Seventh Day Baptist Sabbath School teacher. Almost all of our churches have one or more exemplary teachers. Please, take some time to consider the teachers in your church — and then encourage them by telling each one some specific, positive characteristic you have noticed about the way they teach. While you are at it, why don’t you jot down some notes and pass them along to your Sabbath School Superintendent, Christian Education chair, or pastor and suggest that the teacher might be a great one to nominate for the award in future years.



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