Teachers re-dedicate their service to Master Teacher Jesus


SATURDAY Jan 19, 2008 saw more than 700 principals and teachers gathering for the Staff Dedication Service at the ACS (Independent) Centre for Performing Arts, IB Complex. This event was significant not only because it is an annual event, but also it is the ACSian way of acknowledging our need to start the academic year with a re-dedication of ourselves to our Master Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The service began with Dr Ong Teck Chin, Principal of ACS (Independent), extending a warm welcome to the teachers and principals from the seven Anglo-Chinese Schools: ACS (Barker Road), ACS (Junior), ACS (Primary), Anglo-Chinese Junior College, ACS
(International), ACS (International) Jakarta and ACS (Independent).

Mr Peter Tan, Principal of ACS (Barker Road) led a 15-minute Singspiration, accompanied by instrumentalists who were teachers from the various ACS units.

Following this, the Rev Dr John Barrett, Principal of ACS (International), gave the call to worship. He reminded us to trust in the Lord and to always do good. Congregation members then lifted up their hearts and voices to Charles Wesley’s great hymn of praise, “O, for a thousand tongues to sing”, and Fanny Crosby’s hymn of worship, “To God be the Glory” in an expression of our gratitude to God for the great things He had done in our lives.

The ACS (Independent) choir of young gentlemen and lovely ladies then gave us a beautiful rendition of the anthem, “Look at the World” by John Rutter. The lyrics reminded us to be appreciative of God’s wonder and to give thanks for all the good things He has bestowed on us.

The highlight of the Dedication Service was the sermon given by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, entitled “A Benchmark for Teachers”. This was based on the scripture text from Titus 2: 6-8.

He exhorted us to “teach with integrity”, to do our best and to serve God well. Integrity, he said, addresses the question, “Who teaches?”, and has to do with the character of the teacher, and it means that teachers need to do their work well, whether they are seen or not.

Secondly, we are to “teach with seriousness”, asking the question, “How to teach?” and using tools and techniques that will engage the students’ interest, hold their attention and touch their lives. Finally, “What to teach?” We are to “teach with
soundness of speech”, which emphasises the substance or content of what we teach, rather than the style of our delivery.

After the Bishop’s message, the teachers and principals were invited to reaffirm their commitment as responsible educators to their young charges. A prayer of dedication for the teachers was given by the Bishop before the service came to a close with the rousing singing of the ACS Anthem.

Listening to the lyrics of the anthem, one cannot help but feel a rush of pride that this is perhaps what sets the ACS teacher apart from the “others”.

We are a close-knit family of teachers and students where “our hearts, our hopes,
our aims are one” and “no discord (can) ever sever”.

Long after the Dedication Service is over, the “Teachers’ Oath” we have responded to will continue to remind us to be faithful to our task and true to our calling as we strive to “stand together for the cause of ACS forever!”

Bethany Khng is a teacher at ACS (Independent).