Dr. Houston Heflin, assistant professor of Bible, missions and ministry, has written a new book, “Teaching Eutychus”, to encourage new methods of teaching that will keep students interested in class.
Eutychus, the name in the title, is the young man in Acts who, while Paul was speaking, fell asleep and tumbled from a window and died. Heflin sees the similarity between Eutychus and students today.
“My wife was the one who brought up the imagery of Eutychus,” said Heflin. “I wrote this book because we need to find ways to keep the students interested and awake,” Heflin said. “One-hour long lectures aren’t always the best way to go about teaching.”
Heflin understands the difficulty in teaching while also engaging students’ attention.
“One of the things I do, that I included in my book, is when I ask the class a question and have them separated into smaller groups to discuss it, I don’t just have them sit there in their groups when they’re answering the question,” said Heflin. “I have them walk around outside in their groups while discussing their answer.”
Meredith Platt, a graduate student from Midland that Heflin has taught in the past, helped him edit his book.
“It is a good and useful source. Anyone interested in teaching should consider it,” Platt said. “He’s got a lot of really good ideas.”
Platt teaches at Highland Church of Christ and says that she uses some of Heflin’s ideas when she teaches on Sunday and Wednesday nights.
“It was a big honor for me to get to read it and help with editing it. You can tell he really cares about what he’s writing,” Platt said. “He wants to help volunteer teachers do the best that they can.”
Heflin said he has found that the best way to teach is to be excited about what you are doing.
“Passion is one of the most important parts of teaching,” Heflin said. “It’s hard to get the students passionate about what they’re learning when you aren’t passionate about what you’re teaching.”