We teach kids not curriculum

I heard a teaching tip in an unlikely place today.  I was in church listening to a missionary speaking about his experiences in teaching the people in the Marshall Islands.  He made the statement that his missionary efforts significantly improved when he realized that he was there to "Teach the person, not the lessons".  This comment hit me.  I realized that I have been focusing much of my attention in class on creating a great lesson, or a new teaching strategy.  If I focused a little more on the individual student perhaps my effectiveness would improve.  This does not mean that the curriculum or teaching strategies are not important, just that they are secondary to that relationship with our students.