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Teaching for Transformation (TfT) Series: Responsive Discipleship

October 31, 2019
By Ann Steenwyk

Dear Families and Friends of SCS,

You may remember from last month’s blog that our teachers have begun an eight module series of training alongside Oostburg Christian School with a special focus on helping our students to see God’s story and practice “living” in God’s story both in and outside of the classroom.  This framework is called Teaching for Transformation, and I’d like to share with you a little more about this work this month.

Take a moment to reflect on this quote:

“Christian schools are about the transformation of students and teachers, so that they might have the mind, heart, and life of Christ - that is, to be Responsive Disciples.” - Transformation by Design by the National Institute for Christian Education (p. 8)

Does this quote accurately capture the purpose of education? Does our parent community choose our school for the above purpose?  Does this quote accurately capture the lived practices and culture of Sheboygan Christian School? Our teachers spent some time reflecting on and discussing these questions. Our students took a survey about this. (Stay tuned for the survey results in next month’s blog.)  We’d love to know your thoughts too.

As we continue to wrestle with how to be an excellent Christian school, we can’t deny that our work needs to consider the whole child - head, heart, and hands.  While it’s easy to focus on the head and the heart in an academic setting, we often leave out perhaps the most important part - how we respond with our hands. “Outcomes are not primarily measured in terms of students knowing more, but also being more - exercising wisdom and serving more faithfully.” - Responsive Discipleship, Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (pg. 9).   SCS wants to provide more creative opportunities for students to explore their gifts for service and to respond to the needs of real people and real problems around them.  We want to consider how we are transforming lives (and not just ours) for His kingdom.

The other day I noticed one of our students wearing a t-shirt that said, “In my school...on earth as it is in heaven.”  This got me thinking about what our school is doing to train our children to be faithful in working to establish the kingdom of heaven - here and now. This is big work, but we believe this work will be a game changer, not only for our students, but for the world.  Stay tuned...

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).

Excited About the Work,

Ann Steenwyk
Director of Academics & Instruction