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What Makes A Great Teacher?

Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

What makes a great teacher? Teaching is one of the most complicated jobs today. It demands broad knowledge of subject matter, curriculum, and standards; enthusiasm, a caring attitude, and a love of learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques; and a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people. With all these qualities required, it’s no wonder that it’s hard to find great teachers. At The First Academy, we are so blessed because all of our committed faculty members are dedicated, engaging, and are at the top of their field in so many areas.

One of these devoted faculty members is Dr. Scott Toegnes, Upper School Christian Studies teacher. Dr. Toenges has poured into students at TFA for the past 25 years. In nearly every one of our Alumni Spotlight pieces, graduates mention that Dr. Toenges is easily one of their favorite teachers. They mention Dr. Toenges not only because he is a fabulous educator who teaches the mind, but also because he touched their hearts.

“Coach Toenges kept Bible class fun and engaging, he believed in me and truly had my best interest at heart. I will always remember him for being a great encourager.”
-Whitney (Gebben) Henneman, Class of 2004

We are extremely proud to announce that Dr. Toenges will be speaking and representing The First Academy at the National Conference of Christian Apologetics in Charlotte, North Carolina this October 11-12. Although many of our alumni will miss visiting with him during our Homecoming festivities this year, we are overjoyed to send Dr. Toenges to speak at one of the finest conferences of its kind nationally.

The topic for his session is Christianity Exclusivism in a Pluralistic World and he will be presenting alongside key speakers such as Gary Habermas (Liberty University), Stephen Meyer (Discovery Institute), Mike Licona (SBC), Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe) and Jeff Myers (Summit Ministries), among others. Please join us in prayer for Dr. Toenges as he travels to speak about such an important topic on such a large stage. I am encouraged to know that such a world-class educator calls The First Academy his home, and our students his family.

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