Looking In, Reaching Out

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Peering into the grade five classroom at Surrey Christian, you might be surprised to see a hub of students excitedly decorating tables, blowing up balloons, and setting up games and activities they have created. As the Syrian refugee families arrive, the excitement grows and echoes of “marhaba,” which means hello in Arabic, are heard around […]

More Than a Pious Wish: Living into the Story

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It is nothing but a pious wish and a grossly unwarranted hope that students trained to be passive and non-creative in school will suddenly, upon graduation, actively contribute to the formation of Christian culture. —Nicholas Wolterstorff Every parent and high school teacher prays that the years spent engaging in Christian education will have a lasting […]

Becoming Peculiar Teachers

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Early on in our implementation of Teaching for Transformation (TfT), it became apparent that the journey was as much about the transformation of teachers and staff as it was about the transformation of students. During our first morning spent together around TfT, teachers were asked to engage with this quote: “Christian schools are about the […]

December 2017

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Editorial I found out at a Monday morning prayer meeting that Josh had died in a motorcycle accident. I first met Josh when he was a student in my sophomore English class. Before then, I had known him as the kid who wore his Boy Scout uniform on the first day of school (a habit […]

Authentic Community Panel

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I had the privilege of “sitting down” (via video conference) with our three panelists—Rebecca DeSmith, Gayle Monsma, and Justin Cook—to talk about authentic community.  John: The focus of our conversation is the idea of authentic community in our schools and classrooms. To begin, then, let’s just start from our perspectives. How do you define authentic […]

Coming Together in Times of Loss

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The year of 2016–2017 was a year like no other at Holland Christian Schools. It was full of events, programs, new initiatives, and a site visit for accreditation; but despite all those happenings, in many people’s minds 2016–2017 will be forever marked as a year of pain and loss. As a school community, we were […]

Learning to Walk in the Dark

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Life quickly becomes the curriculum in our classrooms. Week after week Christina, your second-grade student, misses school; her headaches turn out to be a brain tumor. One of your colleagues arrives home after school to find her sixty-year-old husband dead on the floor from a heart attack. When you ask José why he has been […]