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Teaching for Transformation Blog Series: Inviting, Nurturing & Empowering

January 31, 2020
By Ann Steenwyk

Dear Parents and Friends of SCS,

As you know, our teachers are embarking on a training that focuses on teaching our children how to live in God’s story.  Teaching for Transformation uses a variety of core practices that encourage our students to engage in the following:

Wonder - Our teachers invite students to see God’s world with wonder and awe, evoking thankfulness and gratitude.

Wisdom - Our teachers invite students to discover wisdom and a deeper understanding of God’s plan and call.

Work - Our teachers invite students to respond to God’s call to work in the world, with action in love to God and our neighbor.

How do SCS teachers invite, nurture, and empower students to play their part in God’s story?

For example, the last few months, our Math Curriculum Team has been discussing how to adapt lessons to get students to think about God’s story through math and His ordered creation.  You might think this would be difficult in the area of math, but our teachers are planning lessons to help students make these connections.  

  • In 2nd grade, students were asked to think about and then draw their thoughts, “Does subtraction have anything to do with what Jesus did for us?”  You can see all of the results in the 2nd grade hallway.  
  • In 8th grade, students were asked to respond to, “Name as many pairs of things that are correlated relating to God or your faith. Then identify if they have a positive or negative correlation.” Results are displayed in the middle school hallway.
  • At the high school level, the journal question for Mr. Bolkema’s Precalculus class goes like this: “In chapter 6, we learned about a method of mathematical proof called mathematical induction.  The first step in the proof requires you to suppose or assume something. If trying to prove the validity of the Christian faith, do we begin with a supposition or an assumption? Why or why not?  Do other religions begin with a supposition or an assumption? Why or why not?”

In order for this work to truly make a difference, we need to empower every student to practice and express what they are learning.  Next year, several teachers will be creating Formational Learning Experiences for our students, with the goal for our students to make real life connections with real issues in our community.  Maybe there is a role you could play in this. How would you like to see our students involved in transformational work in our community, in God’s Kingdom? See me if you’d like to get involved!

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2

Blessings,

Ann Steenwyk
Director of Academics & Instruction