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December 2014

Hope in a Troubled World

As I write this editorial, the news broadcasts are dominated by stories of fear and calamity. While this is perhaps the way the news is typically marketed to the public, there is something deeply disturbing about the cumulative impact of hearing every day about Ebola, ISIS, climate change, civil wars, crime, economic distress, and political […]

The Cultural Mandate: Is a Student’s Math Work as Sacred as Her Prayer?

  This article first appeared in the Christian Teachers Journal (Australia) and is reprinted here with permission. Try these questions on for size: is a student’s math work as pleasing to God as her prayer? And do you think that a child’s oil painting is as sacred as his personal testimony of coming to Christ? […]

The Spiritual Lessons of Emerging Adulthood

The student’s words unsettled me. We had been discussing the topic of courage, the letting go of our fears so that we could become a source of blessing and wisdom. Then we read together a quote, “We are able to live with this degree of courage, reflected in focus and passion, only if we are […]

Some Assembly Required: A Teacher Wish List for the New Year

In a few days, most of the wrapping paper will be recycled, the ornaments put back in the attic, and Aunt Mabel’s fruitcake almost finished. Then it’s time to welcome in a brand-new, fresh-out-of-the-box year. Our ritual ceremony often includes a bunch of empty promises to our families, our doctors, and our ministers that usually […]

Teaching Young Offenders: A Spirituality of Practice

  Reflecting back on my own career in education, first as a secondary music teacher, then as principal of an elementary school, I recall my expressed desire to “make a difference in the world” as the reason for my vocation. Idealistic and naive words, coming from a hopeful young lover of music and art and […]

Psalm 23 for the Elementary Teacher

The Lord is my teacher; I won’t miss out on anything I need. He makes me take a nap after lunch; He takes me on field trips where he knows I will learn a lot. He tells me I’m special to him. He teaches me how to get along well with my classmates, because I […]

What Happened in Aslan’s Classroom?

C.S. Lewis’s book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe allows Christians to taste the grace of God and love of Jesus. We are all thrilled to see Aslan’s resurrection from the valley of the shadow of death where the Witch had led him. The next scene describes Aslan’s visit to the Witch’s courtyard, where […]

English as a Stressful Language: A Challenge and an Opportunity in Writing Instruction

“The foreigner living among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34). I am a pre-service elementary teacher. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the complexity of the profession I hope to get into post-graduation. It seems like all […]

Shepherding a Child’s Heart

If you ask someone why they became a teacher, it is doubtful that anyone would answer with: “I just love disciplining children.” Most go into the profession because they either want to make a difference in children’s lives or make a difference in society, or simply because they have a deep love for the subject […]

Making Stories: Law, Literature, Life

As is the case in any good story, Jerome Bruner’s book about stories includes a significant number of unexpected twists. This is no accident, as the author’s goal is to explore the central role that narratives play in helping us to make sense of life’s many reversals (28). The book’s subtitle suggests its first big […]

Current Events in our Classrooms

As educators, we interact on a daily basis with students who are influenced by what goes on around them in the world. While students vary in the extent to which they are aware of community, national, or global news stories, they bring to their classroom a variety of perspectives, beliefs, understandings, and questions related to […]