When I began teaching 30 years ago, I had not anticipated how much I would grow to love the young people in my classes.
I’ve been talking about sleep a lot lately. I’ve been getting plenty myself these days, but it seems a lot of my students haven’t. So when they come to my office feeling panicky, stressed and overwhelmed, one of the first things I ask them is “how are you sleeping?”
The cornerstone of Christian education is to see God in all things, with a goal to help students build on this foundation.
In Scripture Jesus is sometimes called Teacher or Rabbi, a teacher of the law, but I doubt he ever taught statistics; it is possible he may have taught carpentry. However, from Jesus’ teaching of his disciples, we learn that true teaching is a sacred act of love for your students.
When you’re a teacher, you’re a leader. I once attended a workshop where the presenter asked, “Who’s in charge of your classroom?” After two incorrect responses from the audience, I raised my hand and said, “I am.” That’s the answer he was looking for.
Henry DeBolster and I shared a journey of 40 years focused on Christian higher education and centred on what has become Redeemer University College. I’ve had this privilege, or as Henry might say, this “particular” privilege, largely because of his faith, vision and encouragement.
God remains excessively ambitious. All indications are that God is still very serious about completely renovating “the works.” This includes you and me and absolutely everything else he created. Do you see what an immense project this is?
My passion for teaching was fostered by being raised in a Christian home and blessed with a Christian education.
As most people know, a sabbatical for academics is a period, typically one year or a half year, during which many of our normal responsibilities are put aside.
Before that Talib boarded her school bus and shot her in the forehead, she was already blogging against the Taliban’s systematic oppression of girls’ education. All through her painful recovery, through death threats and intimidation, she was not silenced. Even now, trying to quantify the importance of her ongoing advocacy and obvious success is daunting: the Nobel Prize looks small by comparison.
In my last column, “Stepping back from the firehose” (Dec. 8, 2014), I wrote about the different approaches Christians have taken to culture and how those approaches have worked themselves out in Christian education. I ended the column by saying:
We need to step back from the firehose a bit – and ask ourselves what the world around us really needs. How can we, as Christians, help our kids to speak to the longings of a broken world that is bathed in bits, drowning in information and struggling to find meaning? If we can find the answer to that question, Christian schools will have found a new educational purpose – and the classrooms will fill up again.
It is an activity that demands teamwork, encouragement and strength, whether you’re 30 feet in the air or on the ground.