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December 2010


As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that […]

Schools as Communities of Grace

What do you remember about your time in school? Most people answer that question with a story about a person they remember—a teacher, coach, a fellow student. It’s my thesis that the context of schooling—the network of relationships, the modeling of life we find—is an important part of the content of schooling, and that we […]

Professional Development in Christian School Communities: Five Affirmations

This past summer, the Calvin College educational leadership graduate course (EDUC 531) explored the topics of professional development and supervision. One of the outcomes of the course was a set of collectively constructed affirmations about professional development. The affirmations arose from the class activities, which included reading 1 and 2 Corinthians; discussing school vision, mission, […]

Schools as Communities: Some Guidelines for School Leaders

As school communities move towards becoming “communities of grace,” the question arises how this concept of community is to be reflected in the ways that leaders and boards deal with educators with regards to their contractual or covenantal obligations. Building community, also among educators, school leaders, and boards, is hard work. “It require tremendous struggle, […]

Drawing a Line or Choosing Inclusion? The Place of Special Education in a Christian School Setting

Last November, I was blessed to be a part of leading a wonderful, integral, and responsive discussion on the role of special education in Christian schools. During the Ontario Christian School Teachers Association Convention in fall 2009, participants of the “Educators Helping Educators: Special Education” session passionately probed key questions surrounding this ever-growing area of […]

Pet Peeves About Parents: Turning Problems into Partnership

When asked to remember problems with parents, a teacher in Tennessee related this experience: One mother stands out. She complained to the principal that I was not being attentive enough to her son. Somewhat immature, the boy still threw temper tantrums in second grade. His mother expected me to give him individual help with everything. […]

A Week in the Life: Building Community at Covenant Christian School

Monday. Monday begins like most other days, as I play the role of official greeter to all the students entering through the main doors. I try to greet as many as possible by name. This is when I find out the results of yesterday’s volleyball game or ask grade 4 students if they are excited […]

Community in the Classroom

Question 1 I am curious how to develop a community in your classroom that is encouraging for everyone in the classroom, so that every student is a friend with every other student? Is that even possible? It is unrealistic to expect every student in the classroom to be a friend of every other student. I […]

A Reflection on Chickens, Christian Education, and Community

“Community then becomes the laboratory in which our hopes and dreams become real … A worldview, a mentor, a community—these are the habits of heart that grow and sustain a faithful life, that so nourish a soul that a career can become a calling that gives a coherence to the whole of life.” —Steven Garber, […]

Christian Schools and Community

September 10, 2010 Al Boerema starts the conversation about Christian schools and community. Good morning, I hope your year got off to a great start. Things are humming along here at Calvin. It is always good to get students back on campus; they bring a vitality that to the place that is missing in the […]

It’s a Pun-der-ful Life—Or: Puns Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Jan Kaarsvlam has been teaching sixth grade at Ripon Christian School, but is on an extended leave since finding out that he has contracted F.B.C.A.S. (Facebook Community Addiction Syndrome) To learn more about his desperate struggle against this debilitating disease, check out Jan’s Facebook page. “I’m not doing it!” Jon Kleinhut, the school librarian, leaned […]