Charles Spurgeon, a London pastor who lived in the 19th century, is known as the “Prince of Preachers” and for good reason. Spurgeon was renowned for his oratory skills and could preach sermons that would captivate his audience. Over the course of his 38 years as a pastor, thousands of people came to hear him preach and when he died, the whole of London mourned his passing. Spurgeon left a great legacy of stalwart faith in Christ and a treasury of writings still read and respected by theologians today.
One of his quotes which I came across the other day, challenged me as both a parent and an educator:
“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, training them up in God’s fear. . .as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of Host.”
What a challenge for Christians! What an encouragement, also! While directed at parents, this quote applies just as well to Christian educators. Training Christian young people is serious business. We are working with parents to equip their children to be soldiers for Christ. Thank you, SJCS families, for trusting us with this awesome responsibility. Who knows? Maybe the world’s next Spurgeon will be one of your children. Thank you for helping us continue our legacy of offering a quality Christian education for almost 60 years.
Give Thanks in All Circumstances
First of all, I would like to say that our CityTeam food drive was a great success! Thank you to everyone who donated and those who helped organize the food drive. Not only did we fill up the ten barrels we had, but the overflow filled up an additional four barrels. Last week’s chapel speaker was a CityTeam success story. Scott spoke about how CityTeam provided food and shelter for him when he was homeless, but more importantly, he shared how CityTeam shared the gospel with him and changed his life forever. CityTeam is an excellent example of the gospel in action, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have a small part in assisting them with their ministry in our local community.
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, a time we traditionally set aside to fellowship with family and friends, indulge in delicious food and to focus on what we are thankful for. While the country at large may focus on thankfulness one time a year, Christians recognize that a spirit of gratitude should pervade our daily lives all year long. As fallible humans, however, it is not always easy to keep a thankful heart when our circumstances seem to demand a negative response from us.
Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances,” not some circumstances or most circumstances, but all circumstances. It would seem that God is asking of us the impossible. How does one give thanks in the worst possible circumstances? It is most definitely not easy, but it is possible. I am not suggesting that we have to be thankful for the bad things themselves, but we can be thankful for what God has done and will do in our lives despite the bad things. Our God heals broken people and redeems sinful situations and gives to those who mourn beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).
We live in a fallen, broken world. Very bad and evil things happen to very good and righteous people, and it seems very unfair. Why do some seem to suffer so much and others hardly at all? I do not have an answer for that, and we will likely not know this side of heaven why God allows certain things to happen to certain people. One thing we rest assured of is that our Heavenly Father loves us with an everlasting love. He is working everything in our lives for our good and His glory, and His will for us is to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” (Thessalonians 5:18).
As you enjoy the remaining days of holiday weekend, and while we celebrate the improved air quality in the bay area, please join me in continuing to pray for those devastated by the fire north of us. May each person see the Gospel lived out through our prayers and actions.
In Loco Parentis
Many years ago, when my wife and I were young new parents, we read a book by Ted Tripp called Shepherding Your Child’s Heart. (This is an excellent book, and I would highly recommend it.) The premise of the book is that Christian parents should not just focus on external behaviors although that is important. More importantly, however, Christian parents should focus on the internal heart attitudes in their children. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Engaging our children’s hearts means reaching them with the gospel.
We as Christian school educators have the responsibility of doing the same thing while children are in our care. At San Jose Christian School we take that responsibility seriously. Our goal is not just a change in outward behavior, but a change of heart. We strive to reach each student with the truth of the gospel. It is much easier, of course, to deal with outward behavior because that is usually cut and dried; however, more often than not, outward behavior is an expression of the overflow of the heart. Luke 6:45 reminds us that “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” A permanent change in behavior comes from a change in the heart; therefore, we want to remove the “evil treasure” and replace it with “good treasure.” Reaching the heart of a child is harder and takes time, but this is the most important work of parents and educators.
How do we as parents and educators “shepherd” a child’s heart? Much like a shepherd who uses his staff to pull a wandering sheep back into the fold and away from danger, we must use the truth of the Bible to point out the sin in the child’s life and lovingly point them in the direction of the truth of the grace and mercy offered us by our heavenly Father. We must also be vigilant concerning the primary shaping influences in a child’s life which are the home, church and school. And, of course, we should pray for the Holy Spirit to work in our children’s hearts and for them to grow in their relationship with God.
Thank you, SJCS families, for letting us stand in loco parentis while your children are in our care. We do not take our responsibility lightly. SJCS has a long history of “shepherding” children, and our primary goal is to continue that tradition and for all of our students to grow in their relationship with the Savior.
Caelum et Terra
“The Heavens declare the glory of God,” as the Psalmist says. This is a truth that my wife and I wanted to instill in our children as they were growing up. Whenever we asked them who made the stars or the ocean or the flowers, they immediately answered with a resounding “God made it!” They took for granted that God made everything in creation. For them it was a given, as it should be for all Christians. God made everything in the universe and sustains it. Question 8 of the OPC Shorter Catechism asks, “How does God execute his decrees?” The answer is “God executes his decrees in the works of creation and providence.” Creation is the evidence of God’s providence, but sometimes even Christians take creation for granted. We forget that creation is evidence of God’s sustaining power not only in the universe but also in each of our lives. We may not always see clearly His hand at work, and sometimes it may seem that He has abandoned us altogether. Sometimes when I feel far from God, all I have to do is pause to reflect on the awesomeness of His creation. Matthew 6:26 reminds us that if God takes care of the sparrow, how much more will He take care of us. Question 9 of the Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the work of creation?” And the response is “The work of creation is God's making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.” If God can make all things of nothing, He is certainly able to work all things for good in our lives.
This past week a group of dads met for prayer (Dads in Prayer, aka DIPS). As we talked and prayed, we were reminded of how the hand of God is at work in each other’s lives. We kept coming back to the same conclusion—God has everything in His control. Even if we don’t understand all that is going on in the world and our lives, and even when things seem to be spiraling out of control, God is in perfect control. Part of what make the SJCS community so special is that we understand Who has ultimate control of everything. This truth should be a source of great comfort to us. We live in a fallen world full of broken and hurting people, but God is still in control and works all things for our good and His glory.
Dads, please consider joining us on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 8:30 AM in the auditorium for a time of prayer and fellowship. When believers gather together to go before God, it not only strengthens us, but it reminds us that God is in control.
This Tiger Tracks Latin phrase is Caelum et Terra. Have your child translate this passage by Friday and turn it in me. Please make sure their names are on the translation.
Do You Shop On Amazon?
If you are an Amazon shopper we encourage you to sign up for AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support SJCS every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to SJCS. Click here to learn more about using AmazonSmile
Leaving a Legacy
What does it mean to leave a legacy? I found numerous definitions/explanations of what leaving a legacy means. Webster’s Dictionary defined legacy as anything handed down from the past. An article in Huffington Post defined it as the need or the desire to be remembered for what you have contributed to the world.
To me, legacy means what did my character say about me, what did others learn from me, what will I be remembered for after I am gone and what positive impact did I have on others.
On August 28, 2018, Tina Vander Veen, a long time supporter of SJCS passed
away at the age of 94. She left a legacy! Tina had 12 grandchildren. All 12
grandchildren graduated from SJCS. For one year, all 12 attended SJCS at the
same time-the oldest in 8th grade and the youngest just starting kindergarten.
Tina and her husband Sid, until he passed away many years ago, were attendees to every event that their grandchildren participated in at SJCS. Even after Sid’s passing away, you would see Tina at every sporting event, musical event, fundraising event, special event, and of course, Grandfriend’s Day.
Numerous years ago, Tina and Sid were presented the gift of being named the ‘Official Grandparents of SJCS’ for their many years of dedication and commitment to SJCS. This plague was proudly displayed in their home. Anyone who came into the home was shown the plague and told about SJCS. This plague was also on display at Tina’s memorial service. She took great pride in being part of the SJCS family.
Tina not only attended events of her grandchildren, she modeled a life that they would remember in great detail. Tina was a godly woman, faithful in prayer, faithful in reading her Bible, faithful in trusting God, faithful in serving and loving others. As one grandchild shared, “‘Beppe" showed unconditional selfless love to every person she encountered.” She was not only Beppe to her grandchildren but to her grandchildren’s friends. And as her family grew, she invested that same unconditional love to her 22 great-grandchildren.
Tina is now enjoying her eternal reward with her heavenly Father, but her legacy lives on through her family and those of us at SJCS that knew her.
Ora et Labora
After I became a believer, I felt that God was moving me toward some type of full- time ministry. So I set off to Bible College to begin my training. I was nineteen and had about $300.00 to my name and hoped God would provide the rest (He did). I enrolled in a college in Florida designed to help train full-time Christian ministry workers.
As many of you know, the workload during the first year of college can be overwhelming, but you buckle down, study hard, and do your work. As I was getting ready the take my first major test, the professor led a prayer for all of us before he administered the test. I was expecting “God help everyone get an A’, “God, give these students the supernatural ability to do better than they should”, or something like that. But, he didn’t, he prayed “Lord, let this test be an accurate reflection on the amount of work that these students put forth.” In my head, I said “WHAT” that is not fair, I need a little supernatural help on this test.
That prayer shaped more of my life than the details I can remember from the class. I was reminded of that lesson again during my recent chat with our sixth grade life skills class. The topic was, “What have I had to overcome in my life.” My main point to them — God is faithful to His children, pray but work hard. We see this in Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
So what exactly is Ora et Labora. When I taught a beginning (very basic) Latin class to my students, this is one of the first phrases we learned. Without giving it away, have your child translate the phrase and put their names on the paper and turn it in to me. I will draw from all of the correct answers by this Friday, for a special prize.
Being part of the SJCS community requires an understanding of a variety of terms, expressions, and acronyms. Here are two:
CSI (Christian Schools International)
This is one of our accreditation organizations. Their mission is to advance Christian education, to support schools in their task of teaching students to know God and his world, and to glorify him through obedient service. They offer professional development and various curriculum resources to teachers. They hold accredited schools to standards of excellence in all areas of academics and faith integration. Click here for more information.
LOVE & LOGIC
Love and Logic provides parents and teachers with practical, proven tools for raising respectful, responsible, and happy kids! Through this program, parents and teachers learn techniques that:
Are simple and easy to learn.
Teach responsibility and character.
Lower your stress level.
Have immediate and positive effects.
Love and Logic resources are housed in the SJCS library and can be checked out by SJCS staff and community. More information can be found here.
Stories of Growth
I love that Jesus uses parables to teach us. I think that is because even as we read the Bible 2000 plus years later, we can relate to those stories. We see God’s faithfulness, sovereignty and power in those stories. I often see my own short sightedness and my selfishness when I read through the Gospels. That’s the intention of those words-to teach and allow us to grow and become more Christ like.
SJCS is full of stories of growth. I walked through the lower elementary classes the other morning at the beginning of the year and had the opportunity to listen to the prayers of our young students. They speak to Jesus as we all should – as if He was sitting beside them and they were having a close conversation. Oh, if only we all prayed like that. I also sat at a middle school table and listened to a conversation about resource conservation and how to make an impact today and plan for the future. Finally, last week I led an awesome team of students as Project Serve went out into the community to meet the needs of others.
God is at work here and continues to bless SJCS.
SJCS Middle School Extra-Curricular Highlight: What Makes Our Middle School Stand Out?
On Saturday, October 28, our Tigers celebrated big as the Tiger football team took the league championship. And the night before playo s, our middle school drama department presented a delightful rendition of The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood by Mary Lynn Dobson. Both Mr. Bost (SJCS Athletic Director and Tiger Football Coach) and Ms. Laverman (Middle School Drama Director and Fourth Grade Teacher) find their greatest joy in seeing students develop their gifts and grow in confidence.
Mr. Bost said with a smile, “I love being around the kids. I love seeing them grow as athletes but also as young men. The students start in 5th Grade saying ‘I can’t do this’ and finish as 8th grade leaders on the field. Often students enter middle school with no experience in a given sport. I get to watch them excel as they interact with each other and work for a common goal.They will take what they learn in sports into the rest of their lives.” One of our 8th grade students, Ethan A., participated in both football and the play. ”It was a crazy weekend to say the least. Friday we had two play performances and I have to say that the evening performance was flawless. Then, not even 12 hours later, I was a contributor on the football championship team. I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to do both the play and to be a part of the football team that made SJCS history."
Both events showcased students who discovered talents and growth opportunities as a result of our “no cut” policy. Eighth grade student Mary shared, “If there were cuts in the drama tryouts, I may have not even done the play. But instead, I have done it all three years of middle school. I would never have realized how much I loved acting and chosen to participate in it. The highlight of the play this year was when half the cast was crammed backstage and we were all smiling anticipating our next cue. All our nerves were gone and we were all just filled with happiness because of the fun we were having.” Natalie, another 8th grade actress, would tell future middle schoolers, “ Don't wait to try the drama performance. Go for it! You'll learn so many things, you'll love it, and you can find that inner dramatic character in yourself.” Meredith added, “It's nice to have a judge-free environment to practice lines and get used to being an actor!”
Ms. Laverman believes in accepting all students who want to participate in the play whether on stage or backstage. “Being involved in drama lends itself to lifetime skills such as public speaking, working with peers, being comfortable in your own skin, and encouraging each other. When students don’t support each other it shows up on stage. We have to fit together and work together to be in sync.” Mr. Bost adds his support of our “no-cut” policy in sports. “Giving all students a chance to participate is important because middle school is a time that kids should try anything if they have an interest in it. You never know what
it could lead to. We want to foster in them that they have the freedom and ability to try things and see where God has gifted them. Being part of a team is important for everybody.
“Our students see professional sports on TV and come into a sport thinking that being an athlete is all about promoting self. But in our athletic program we focus on being a good teammate and knowing your role whether or not you are on the field. Throughout the championship game the players on the sidelines knew their goal was to encourage and support the players on the field. I love this picture of our team working toward a common goal, even from the sideline.”
Grades Do NOT Define Me
When you think back to the last time you received a “grade” for something, can you also remember how you felt inside? Do the words “report card” send a jolt of fear into your body?
Teachers use assessments to find out what a student understands, and to determine how well we as teachers might (or might not have) communicated concepts. Unfortunately, many times “getting a grade” turns into false determination of one’s talent or worth. Instead of seeing the grade as a measure of what I learned and what I have yet to learn, the grade sends a message of “You are acceptable” or “You are not good enough.”
Mrs. Nibbelink and Ms. Webb led the fifth graders through a novel unit on There’s a Boy In The Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar. As the story of a fifth grade bully unfolds, readers come to see the importance of looking “underneath” another’s exterior to find the true person inside. Through the guidance of a counselor, a “bully” transforms his belief that he is a worthless monster to the belief that he is a kind boy with a good heart. Ms. Webb explains, “This story provides an inside look at the thought life of a struggling student and guides our fifth graders toward empathy for others and healthy self-talk.”
After reading the book, the 5th grade teachers led their students through three key activities. First, the 5th graders wrote reflections about their experience and perspective on grades. Next they created drawings of monsters with kind hearts. And finally, the teachers brought their students to the playground to drive home the themes in the book. Outside, each student was given a physical challenge. Some were asked to hang on the bar for 3 seconds, or do 5 jumping jacks. Others were asked to fly to the top of the flagpole or hop from one tree to another. Some challenges were clearly impossible. Afterward, students were assigned a letter grade. Students who accomplished the challenge were marked with an “A”, and students who did not complete the impossible challenges were marked with an “F”. Confusion and antagonism erupted. Students declared, "This isn't fair!”
Mrs. Nibbelink and Ms. Webb followed the physical challenge activity with an in-class discussion about grades and their purpose in school. They drove home the point that a grade is not meant to define us (just as not being able to fly to the top of flagpole could not make you a failure). They shared that a grade measures how much you have learned or haven't learned...yet. And they pointed out that our families, teachers, and even Kindergarten buddies love us as much as ever no matter what “grade” is assigned in school. “At the end of the day, we want our fifth graders to know we love them exactly the same no matter what grades are at the top of their papers. We don’t view students as ‘A, C, or F students,’ we see them as dearly loved children of God.” Ms. Webb said.
SJCS Throughlines include the standard of raising up “growing believers who live secure in their identity in Christ.” We continue to work as a school to teach our children that we are God’s Beloved sons and daughters.
The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
Next week, Christian Schools International, an organization to which we belong and receive our accreditation, is celebrating Christian Education Week in honor of the 500th “anniversary” of the Reformation. There are many facets to the history of the Reformation, but one that we celebrate in particular is the importance of education that was embraced by the Reformed churches. Understanding that education is crucial for the training of the next generation, Christian schools, partnering with the church and the family, became the means to equip children for a life of service. The focus that Jesus Christ and God’s Word are at the center of life and learning and that the whole world belongs to God continues here at San Jose Christian School. As did the reformers back in the early 1500’s, we want to focus on the fact that Christ unifies His people and wants us all to be drawn into a closer relationship with Him. The importance of Christian education remains!
San Jose Christian School continues to exist in order to engage students to transform culture for Christ. We expect our students to grow in their faith here at SJCS and beyond. We commit to be a distinctly Christian witness to our community. As our society changes, our constant remains our Savior, who continues to be faithful to our school. As a community of believers, we strive to serve and honor God with our gifts and talents as we encourage our students to find theirs and do the same. On Christ the solid rock we stand.
Love. Learn. Serve
One of the GREAT things about San Jose Christian School is that all of our teachers are committed to living out those three words. On our day and a half Staff Retreat, we shared our love for God as we worshipped together and prayed together. We began our retreat time in reflection of God’s goodness, focusing on how we can pray with and for each other, for our students, and for you, our families. Keeping Christ at the center of what we do is key to the flourishing of our school.
Our learning focused on showing respect and empathy for others along with putting to use principles that our summer reading book, Mindset by Carol Dweck, challenged us to put to use. Learning is a process that teachers see in action each day, and we are in the business of seeing our students thrive. We are committed to that, and that is why learning new and exciting ways to instruct and integrate our faith are critical to our growth as Christian educators. (You may have seen that we also had a great opportunity to grow in community in fun ways, too.)
As we finished out time together on Friday afternoon, we spent time thinking about the students and families that we serve. We are so grateful for you and your commitment to SJCS. God has put us in a tremendous community where we care about each other in deep ways. May God continue to use this place to transform culture for Jesus Christ.
Back in June, many of you participated in our annual Parent Satisfaction survey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart with us. SJCS is truly committed to listening to each community member and to take the “scores” and comments we receive from that survey and others, and use that data to inform our future. We want to continue to grow and improve as a school, and your candid feedback helps that process.
Overall, our average score for the 7 areas of satisfaction (academics, teachers, technology integration, ofce support, Board of Trustees, sustainability, and discipline) was 4.42 out of a possible 5. All but one area improved over the scores received from the past two surveys. Measuring the implementation of our Core Values scored a 90.2% in satisfaction. These high marks validate that we are fulfilling our mission, but they also leave room for improvement, and we will be working on meeting the high expectations that you have for our school and that we have for ourselves.
I have spoken to a number of people who asked to be contacted. I appreciate the face-to-face time that we have shared. This year, one of my personal goals is to communicate clearly and proactively, so please do not hesitate to contact me with your kudos and your concerns. May we continue to work together to honor God in community.
Being Grateful for "Full"
As the school year winds down – where did it go? – I have tried to sit down with some SJCS families and talk about their experience this year. I recently had a sit down with a family new to San Jose, and when I asked how they would describe the year, the reply I got was FULL. Full of transition. Full of adjustment. Full of challenges of arriving in a brand new place. Full of JOY. Part of that joy, they said, was the fact that God brought them to SJCS and they have seen their children THRIVE here. Not just get by, but thrive under the direction of, as they said, “Godly teachers who love the Lord and my kids.” Of course, my smile grew as they validated what we do each day in the lives of our students.
SJCS is an extremely special place. Our students are not simply bodies in chairs. In our eyes, they are image bearers of God, and we all want to celebrate their successes. Nothing brings us more joy that to see students learn, grow in their love for God, and serve others both on campus and around the community. God has richly blessed us this year. Let’s all be grateful together.
Social media is a powerful tool we can use to share the story of SJCS. During the month of May we will be doing a daily post on both Instagram and Facebook to reinforce that at SJCS our culture is not just about worksheets. We are a dynamic, Christian community that integrates Biblical truth into exceptional teaching and learning. We prepare our students to engage and transform culture for Jesus Christ. We invite you to follow, like, share and promote SJCS so that more families can experience all that we have.
Exciting News for the Middle School
After interviewing a number of good candidates, we are happy to announce that one great candidate for the Middle School History position stood out, and Justin DenOuden will be joining our middle school team. Mr. DenOuden has been on campus quite a bit this year, subbing in various grade levels, and he truly feels that God has called him to stay permanently. He is a credentialed teacher and brings several years of teaching experience with him. When you see Mr. DenOuden on campus, please give him a big welcome.
Working For One Purpose
What a great night we had on Saturday! The Auction was a huge success both financially and in building community. It was great to see so many of you there, and it was such a pleasure to meet some new friends. Please accept a HUGE thank you to all of you who had a part in that success. I celebrate this success as another glimpse of God’s faithfulness to San Jose Christian School.
I am reminded of the final chapter of Romans. Chapter 16 is basically a list of thanks to people who were Paul’s encouragers or friends in the Lord. As we read through that list, we see how it took the work of these men and women TOGETHER to lay the foundation of the church. The work of the early church was not done through just one person because no one could do everything that was necessary, but through committed believers working for one purpose, they each used their gifts to serve the Lord and each other. That is what God calls us to do, still.
As we continue to fulfill our mission, may we live, learn, and serve together be a true reflection of God’s intention for Christian community.
The other day I got an email from a high-end retailer who thinks it is in the business of telling me what I need. You need Uggs! The email went on to tell me that they are just the one to meet my needs. And they we not offering me Uggs on sale, either.
Sadly, there are many other companies and people and influencers that do the same. Even more sadly, we believe them. We try to find empty ways in which to fill our lives with what we believe we need to make us happy or to bring us fulfillment. Trouble is, we get disappointed if we look to things or people to take the place of what we really need.
Yes, the Bible says that it is Jesus who will meet our needs. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we realize how He longs to meet our needs. As Psalm 27 tells us, “the LORD is our Stronghold”- not the things of this world- “He is my light and my salvation.” We need to rid ourselves of any of the other strongholds that may have a grip on us.
Uggs? Well, in the name of full disclosure, I have a pair of Uggs. (I bought them on sale about 8 years ago) They are useful, and I do need them when I visit snow country. It is not bad to have them or other things like that. However, when we try to fill our needs with things on earth, we will come up empty.
Are you letting this world tell you what you need? Or are you relying fully on Jesus to meet your needs?
One of the reasons that God puts us in community is to be able to support and encourage each other as we navigate the journey on which God has put us. It brings great joy and honor to God as we, the SJCS community, come together to celebrate each other, pray for each other, and support each other as part of God’s family. It is an honor and a privilege to work alongside you as we seek to educate and engage your sons and daughters to transform the world for Jesus Christ.
SJCS is a unique and special place where children are challenged to think and grow as students as they develop their God-given gifts and personalities. You have trusted us with your children, and we appreciate the partnership in which we LOVE-LEARN-SERVE together. You have many choices for your child’s education, and you have chosen very well! Thank you for your commitment and investment in a Christ-centered education where we seek to be faithful stewards of our resources in raising up a generation of children who will stand for Christ in a culture that often does not.
Receiving the sea of re-enrollment packets at this time of year encourages us that our partnership with your family is as important to you as it is for us. Keep them coming! God calls us to live in Christian community, and San Jose Christian School is committed to your family as we live out Philippians 2 together.
"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
Keep On Learning
Love. Learn. Serve. This tag line sums up the reason SJCS exists and what we want to see in all of our students. It also very well describes our teachers. Each teacher here is committed to fulfilling God’s call on his/her life, each is committed to serving the students, SJCS community and each is committed to being a life long learner. By modeling those things, we trust that our students will experience the joy of learning and the blessing of knowing God.
During the faculty retreat days last week, we focused on our learning and professional development. Doug Heetderks, the director the World Wonder and Discovery Barn Programs at Westminster Christian School led us in a discussion about student engagement, student focused learning and inquiry based education. Doug shared some of his experiences and research and gave teachers practical methods in which to engage student wonder and inquiry in the classroom and outside the classroom walls. Already, several of our teachers have implemented some ideas. Each teacher individually and collectively committed to trying something new that might better peak the students’ learning experience.
SJCS is committed to the academic growth of our students, and we want to fully involve them in the wonder and joy of understanding God’s created world.