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October 2012

Editorial

The beginning of a new school year is a good time to reflect on how we, as educators, can continue to sharpen our skills and our understanding of the fine art of successful instruction. All of us, especially those who have been in the classroom for a number of years, know how easy it is [...]

The Beauty of Diversity and the Problem of Multiculturalism

  “Are all cultures equal?” When I ask students this question, a sharp student will usually respond by asking, “What do you mean by equal?” “All right,” I’ll say, “as Christians, can we make judgments regarding societies? Can we judge whether a culture’s practices are God honoring and reflect biblical principles?” Overwhelmingly, students—whether in high [...]

What Trips Up Our Leaders?

  While preparing for a workshop last fall, I had the opportunity to talk to several leaders of both Christian and secular organizations; I asked them what causes leaders of schools to stumble. These executive directors and superintendents gave the following six areas that are consistently causing school leaders to stumble.   Board Relationships Challenges [...]

It Takes a Village to Raze a Child: An Educator’s Reflection on Lee Hirsch’s Film Bully

  When I was eleven years old, my morning walks to the bus stop were filled with trepidation. Depending on her mood, my bully greeted me either with a false smile and cold shoulder or an arsenal of nuclear insults and physical threats. A favorite in her armory was to assert that her lackey, Jenny, [...]

Chapel Planning and Leading: What We Are Learning from Christian Schools

In the unique setting of Christian schools, how do children and young people learn to worship? In what ways do they connect their weekday worshiping experience with their school community and their participation in Sunday worship with their church community? How do we guide young people to move beyond what they “like” or “don’t like” [...]

Educating in the Shadow of Marduk’s Temple: Encouragement for Christian Teachers from Genesis 1 and 2

Marduk was the chief deity of the Babylonian pantheon. Every aspect of ancient Near Eastern society was arranged around the temples of the gods: humankind existed, so it was thought, to care for the gods. Genesis 1 and 2 is written in the shadow of ancient Near Eastern temple mythology. It dismantles the dominant worldview [...]

Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies

Every day we are surrounded by words. We hear them in music, view them in media, speak them to others in conversation, reflect on them for meaning, and are guided by them in scripture and through prayer. Words provide identity, give direction, inspire and correct us, provoke an awakening of conscience, and inform wisdom. But [...]

A Dangerous Teacher

Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries, And daub their natural faces unaware. —Elizabeth Barrett Browning Too often we don’t fully appreciate the people in our lives that shape who and what we become. [...]

Sowing the Unknown

We will continue learning through living tonight and tomorrow and the day after, no matter what we do or where we go. Durham has helped us come to grips with reality and helped us to see how everything is basically rooted in the Great Creator, Christ, who directs us in our day-to-day experiences. —Jane Reitsma, [...]

Professional Learning Communities

On June 3, 2012, Al Boerema introduced the issue for discussion: It is becoming clear that the development of professional learning communities (PLCs) is an essential element of school change and reform. Roland Barth’s article, “Relationships within the Schoolhouse” describes four kinds of relationships: parallel play, adversarial or competitive, congenial, and collegial (Educational Leadership, March [...]

Giving 110 Percent and Other Lies, or Dreaming the Impossible Dream

Gord Winkle was nervous. When he got nervous, he tended to eat. Since he was quite spectacularly nervous, he was eating a lot. He had a two-foot-long baked sub sandwich from Fast Freddy’s, two double hamburgers and two chocolate shakes from Belly Busters, a triple chicken sandwich with pickles from Gobs O’Chicken, and a brown [...]