Welcome to the second quarter! This is a busy and rewarding time of year as teachers prepare report cards, parents look ahead to conferences, and students launch into new learning.
INTEGRITY weaves through all of our SJCS Throughlines: Growing Believers, Healthy People, Active Learners, Effective Communicators, Collaborative Workers, Wise Decision Makers, Humble Servants, Responsible Stewards, and Engaged Citizens. Integrity means acting according to a sense of what is right and what is wrong. Exercising integrity helps us do the right thing in a reliable way.
As Teaching Principal I see students, co-workers, and parents who choose integrity as a way of life. Here are some of the ways I have seen integrity in the past week:
- A middle school student in my office this morning said, “I think I have the information you need to understand why I was sent here to see you.”
- A co-worker shared her joy in seeing elementary students choose to clean up misplaced tanbark to keep the playground looking great.
(Editor's Note: She even snapped the picture of the responsible steward trio in this blog.)
- A parent-teacher discussion on how to partner together in understanding a scenario and take next steps.
- An elementary student simply saying to a friend, “I am sorry. Will you forgive me?”
Tiger Talk: Questions For Your Family
Whether you're with your fellow Tigers at the dinner table or cruising home during your commute, take a few moments to explore these Tiger Talk questions.
- How do you know what is right and what is wrong?
- Can you name a time when someone else in our family has made the right choice even when it was hard to do?
- What is an area where you are struggling to know the right choice? Make the right choice?
Welcome to a new week, San Jose Christian Tigers! And welcome to my new part of the web, The Principal’s Blog. In my role of Teaching Principal, a great joy and most humbling calling, is to lead our community as we develop habits that honor God, offer health, and bring unity. Over the course of the school year I’ll use my blog to highlight and introduce some of the ideas and ways that our faculty bring these habits into the classrooms.
The first series comes from the Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI). Two years ago Ms. Hossink and Mrs. Truong attended a science conference at VAEI and brought back a tool called Habits of Mind. These habits support the SJCS mission to provide exceptional teaching and curriculum that engages and transforms culture for Jesus Christ.
This week we look at self-direction. SELF-DIRECTION is active participation and control over one’s behavior, motivation, and thought processes. It is taking initiative and responsibility for one’s learning. From Junior Kindergarten to Eighth Grade self-direction takes a variety of forms.
- In the Fireflies and JK this takes the form of student jobs. Students explore language, math and so much more as they choose activities which must be completed responsibly and according to a given set of guidelines.
- In some classrooms this takes the form of projects. Heritage Day (Grade 2), poster board biographies (Grade 3), mission projects (Grade 4), and state projects (Grade 5) all require self-direction in the form of time management and student initiative.
- The 1:1 laptop program in middle school provides abundant opportunity for students to grow in self-direction as they practice discernment and responsibility. Middle school sometimes calls self-direction "grit". Growing in self-direction develops grit as well as the skills of metacognition, homework ownership, and responsible technology habits.
Each blog entry will end with suggested family discussion questions. Know that when parents show a desire to grow and make healthy choices, kids are watching and learning! This week take time as a family to consider the following questions for each member of your family:
- In what roles or opportunities in my life do I show self-direction?
- Where do I have the opportunity to be more self-directed at work/school or at home?
What do a physician, fisherman, tax collector, religious leader, and tent maker have in common? On the surface, they don’t have much in common at all really. These were people from vastly different socio-economic backgrounds and experiences, yet God called them together for a purpose. Despite their differences, God used them to spread the gospel and change the world.
Last Friday, at our annual staff retreat, the SJCS faculty and staff spent time together working on understanding all of our differences and how God can use our different skills, personalities, and talents to further his kingdom. It was a profitable, encouraging time in which we were reminded of how God in his providence has brought together the faculty and staff of SJCS to work towards a common goal—providing the best Christian education possible and equipping our students to be world-changers for God’s kingdom.
In I Corinthian 12, Paul talks about how even though the body of Christ is one, it is made up of different parts. God created us differently, and all of us have a part in the body, no matter how big or small, or how many or few, our gifts may be. One part of the body should never tell another part, “I am more important.” We are grafted into the family of God to help each other and to help spread the Good News. God has gifted us differently, and these differences should unite us not divide us. Our desire at SJCS is to use the wonderful diversity of talents God has given us in a way that will reflect how the body of Christ should work together and to encourage our students to do the same.
We are excited to be partnering with you to help your children understand what makes them special in God’s eyes and how they can use their diverse gifts to love, learn, and serve as part of God’s family.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAN JOSE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL!
As we begin this school year, we are happy to be celebrating our 60th year as a school. We welcome not only our returning students, but we are excited to welcome almost 50 new students this year to our JK-8th grades.
If you look at the picture from opening day, you'll notice two gifts given to SJCS to start the school year. The first is the beautiful shield with our logo created and gifted by David Schoepe of David's Custom Metalworks. The shield was gifted to mark our 60th celebration and ties in so well to our theme verses this year, instructing us to put on the full armor of God. Make sure to checkout David's work. The second gift is from some elementary students who grabbed an orange tiger in one of those claw machines and gifted it to me. You can see it sitting atop the podium where I'm speaking. I am amazed at God’s faithfulness to our school, continually providing through our community.
Sixty years ago when the school officially launched in 1959, the boom of modern day technology was expanding. In 1959, the first American spacecraft left Earth’s gravity and exited the orbit of Earth. Walt Disney released “Sleepy Beauty”. Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states. The average house in the U.S. cost a whopping $12,400.00.
It was an exciting time in our country, so many innovative things happening. But what I am most excited about is the fact the God called a group of people from local churches to start a covenant-based Christian school in the bay area and our school through God’s provision has remained steadfast to this vision.
As we begin a new year, our theme for this year is “Stand Strong”, after the passage instructing us to put on the ARMOR of GOD (Ephesians 6:13-17)
13 Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Stand Strong is a powerful reminder for all of us to put on the armor of God daily. The pieces of the armor are designed to protect our minds, hearts and encourage a Biblical mindset. We look forward to the year ahead as we weave this passage into our everyday lives, grow as a community and celebrate 60 years of Christian education here at San Jose Christian School.
May God bless our year ahead and stand with us forever,
Mr. Lemuel "Buddy" Hucks
Head of School | San Jose Christian School