Christian School Recruitment- Strategic Plan
We are at the completion of our conversation on how to write your own worldview. At the beginning of the year we talked about different people in our lives who had a strong Christ-centered worldview. Then starting in January, we have been talking about how to write your own worldview. As I said earlier, we cannot instill a Christ-centered worldview in our students, if we don’t know our own worldview. Here are the 7 must haves with its links.
- You must have a healthy relationship with Jesus and an understanding of who He is in your life.
- You must know how Jesus impacts your thinking and actions.
- You must know the major themes of the Bible, and how God has worked through the lives of the Bible characters.
- You must know how God sees children or young adults.
- You must have a well-developed philosophy of education.
- You must have a commitment to Christian Education.
- You must have a sense of the culture that students live in today.
My prayer is that you will write out your worldview this summer. Use my blog posts to guide your writing. When you start the year off, I believe that you will teach with more intentionality because you will know your own Christ-centered worldview.
Next year, I am going to be working with teachers on how use Walking with God and His People (CSI’s Bible Curriculum) to build Christ-centered worldview in our students. I am not completely sure how that is going to look, but I am sure that you will want to be a part of it.
This is also my last blog post for the school year. I pray that each of you who read this blog will have a relaxing and energizing summer. You will need the time off as we have a lot of work to do in the next school year to build students who have a Christ-centered worldview that will restore our world for Jesus.
As I am writing this blog, it is the last week of school for the year. I am finishing up a Prayer unit with my 7th graders. As part of the unit, I prayed for a different one of my students each day. It took me almost a month to complete. I gave my students a calendar so the students knew which day I was praying for them. I knew they appreciated that I prayed for them.
The main thesis of the prayer unit is to teach the students that prayer is to be a selfless act. You are praying as Jesus taught us to pray. To my surprise, I found that I gained a lot by praying for my students.
Through the students’ prayer requests, I found out parts of their lives. I heard their fears and joys. I heard their hopes and wishes. I found out about their family life.
I got to know my students in an amazing way. One of the top ways to get to know your students is to pray for them. All age groups enjoy being prayed for. Do you have a prayer ministry in your classroom?
Another way to get to know your students is to hang out with them. During lunchtime, do you sit with your students or do you sit behind your desk. Students want to see that you are real person; also you will get to understand the heart of the students by just talking with them.
Here is a list of questions you can ask your students (use the ones that are appropriate to the age and gender of your students).
- Do you have any pets? What do you like about them?
- What do you like to do when you are not at school?
- What TV shows or movies do you like to watch?
- What is your favorite kind of ice cream or pizza?
- Where do you like to go on vacation?
A colleague of mine was talking to a student in her classroom, and she found out that the student likes comics. Every Monday, she now brings the student a comic from her Sunday paper. This simple act has helped her to connect with her student.
Another way to get to know your students is to read books about child development. A book that I am currently reading is Nurture Shock by Bo Bronson and Ashley Merryman. I have found that book is well written and engaging. I agree with most of it, and I have enjoyed the approach the author takes on child development.
For example, there is a section on giving praise to students. The authors have found that it is more important to not give praise for intelligence but rather praise for hard work.
Here is a link to the book on Amazon. Please click here to be directed to the Amazon page.
So, the 7th out of the 7 must haves in your Christ-centered worldview is to get to know the children in your classroom. I encourage you to work through each of the 7 must haves that I have written about this year in the blog series. When you are finished, I encourage you to write out your Christ-centered worldview this summer.
In the next blog post, I will wrap up this series and conclude with how CSI’s Bible Curriculum Walking with God and His People builds Christ-centered worldview.
I started writing this blog from the Youth Hostel (like a hotel) in Chicago where my 7th grade students were staying for the night. I was the lead teacher/chaperone. I woke up early, so I thought I would start on this blog post.
Every year the 7th graders take a two-day trip from Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago to visit the local attractions. We see many other schools from the local states visiting the places too. What makes the trip that my students go on any different than the ones the other public or charter school students are taking?
Yesterday, we started off the day with my principal leading devotions. The line that stuck out the most was “You will see many things on the trip that God has made, but the most spectacular thing will be the student who is sitting next to you on the bus.”
We left in time to arrive at the opening of the Brookfield zoo. We saw all kinds of animals: bears, reptiles, birds, seals, and dolphins. From the zoo, we went to the National Museum of Mexican Art. It was amazing to view the creativity of the artists.
Next, our group went to Navy Pier to eat dinner, go on the big Ferris Wheel, or just watch the boats on Lake Michigan. The lake is so beautiful to watch from the pier.
We left Navy Pier and went to the John Hancock Observatory, which is on the 94th floor of the building. As a group, we watched the sunset and the lights of Chicago go on. Even though I have seen it many times, I am still amazed at the vastness of the big city.
Next we traveled to where we stayed for the night at the Youth Hostel. This evening devotions were delivered by one my colleagues at The Potter’s House. She gave us the message of “light.” She asked the students about what kinds of light did they saw on the trip. She reminded the students that “we are light of the world.” She went on to explain the Bible verse and how it relates to the “light” we saw on the trip.
After a good night sleep and breakfast, we met in a meeting room in the Youth Hostel for devotions. An adult chaperone led the devotions this morning. His topic was on “seeing,” and how God gives us the ability to see. The students were to visualize those things on the trip so far that we have seen. He said that God reveals himself to us. The students soaked in his message and the Word of God that He had planned for them.
Now I am writing the final part of the post as we are at the Field Museum. There are large sections devoted to evolution. On Monday I will get the opportunity to talk to my students about it. The museum has the largest T-Rex ever discovered. The bones are over 90% complete. It is amazing that the sheer size of the animal. I look forward to engaging my students with making the connections with this dinosaur and the Creator of it all!
In this blog series, we have been discussing the “7 must haves” in your Christ-centered worldview. The sixth one is you must have a passion for Christian education. When you are teaching, are you connecting the subject matter to God’s Word? It is not a tacked on faith, but rather interweaving God’s Word into what you are teaching.
My hope is that my 7th graders have a better understanding of God’s Word though this trip. I also want them to realize the role that God has for them in their lives which is make the world a better place. If they do, then this trip is different than most of the schools that we have met.
The next “must have” in our trek to discovering and writing down our Christ-centered worldview is to have a working philosophy of education. When was the last time you looked at your philosophy of education? Do you still agree with what you wrote?
For some of us, it has been a long time since we wrote the statement for college. You may have not even have been a teacher yet. I strongly suggest that this summer when you are writing your Christ-centered worldview that you include your philosophy of education. Most importantly, I suggest that you re-write it to fit with who you are today as a teacher.
In this blog series, and actually in all my work for CSI, I have tried to give you, the Christian school teacher, practical tools and suggestions to work in your classroom today. Actually, I love to think in terms of philosophy and in the more sophisticated way. But I know as a teacher, there are a lot of people in our lives who think this way. I choose to focus with you the practical, hands-on approach to impact you and your teaching.
In that light, when you look at your philosophy of education, try to give it practicality. For example, here is part of my philosophy of education I wrote in college:
Epistemology, according to Kauchak and Eggen (2005), “is a branch of philosophy that examines questions of how we come to know what we know.” In other words, epistemology is how students acquire knowledge. Knowledge is more than just bits of information. It needs to hook into a schema and create a sense of action. A relational understanding is the ability to use and apply it (1978).
My goal as a teacher is to help my students gain a relational understanding of the concepts I am teaching them. I do not want them to memorize facts for a test, but rather want them to add the information into their prior knowledge and experiences and make it a useful tool for them as they make decisions in the future. This means assessment goes beyond the cumulative test. Assessment becomes an on-going interaction where students apply what they have learned.
I still agree with what I wrote a few years ago in my Master of Education program, but it is academic (as it should have been). Your working philosophy of education needs to have the practical in it too along with the academic. To make my statement practical, I would add the following:
For example in Bible class, I have my students, as a class, build one Old Testament tabernacle. I have some students build the fence. I have some build the tent. I have some make the basins. By working on the project, I strive for my students to have a relational understanding of how the Israelites built the tabernacle that the Lord commanded of them.
After the Tabernacle is built and all the pieces are in place, I give my students an assessment. I allow them to look at their project, and they are to draw and label the Tabernacle on a piece of paper. Then they will have an open-ended question on how they thought the Israelites enjoyed dis-assembling the Tabernacle and re-assembling the Tabernacle after they landed at the place that God told them.
Where is your philosophy of education? If you can’t find it, or you believe you did not write one, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you resources to help you write your statement out.