Philosophy of Christian Education
As Christians, we are to know our Creator. Because I believe this, I also believe the best scientist, the best physicist, the best doctor, the best chef, the best stay-at-home-mom, the best businessperson, the best artist, the best musician, the best engineer – the most proficient individual in every field should be a Christian. We know the Maker of the human mind. We have access to the One who knows all things!
As educators, we are to instruct and encourage students to dwell on 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:17, which, paraphrased together, tell us we are to do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus and to the glory of God. We also understand that every minute is a gift. When we combine these two thoughts, we understand that we are to maximize our time in order to discover, practice, and develop our God-given talents. Christian education is simply taking the truth of every academic pursuit and asking God’s Holy Spirit to help us see why God has given it to His children and how we are to best study and apply it for our good and His glory.
How does this look in the classroom? Instructional leaders / teachers should strive to stimulate curiosity within their students and help them acquire the tools needed to become life-long learners who strive to grow in their knowledge of, and love for, God. A teacher seeks not his own, but the good of the student. Teachers must not teach for personal gain or self-promotion. Believing this, the teacher is free to focus on facilitating student learning not only by sharing knowledge, skills, and experience with students, but by guiding them to become self-directed learners.
Next to a vibrant relationship with the Lord Jesus, I believe the greatest asset a teacher can bring to the teaching/learning environment is enthusiasm. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” It is likely all of us would say that the teachers who made the greatest lasting and most profound impact on us, demonstrated a high degree of enthusiasm in the classroom. This enthusiasm, coupled with compassion, I believe, inspires and motivates students to challenge themselves to greater academic inquiry and success.
Students are motivated in a learning environment that fosters genuine curiosity, collegial interaction, and honest inquiry. Students want teachers and courses that will challenge them; they also want to be involved in their education. The best teachers do not want to, or need to, show students what they know. The best teachers want to show students what, how, and how much, they can learn.
Our teachers understand, embrace, and model the value and rewards of working very hard, academically. Academic hard work is a good thing. Seeing students mature spiritually, academically, and personally must be the driving force behind our efforts at Abundant Life Christian Academy. At ALCS we will strive to immerse students in a safe, yet challenging environment that is good for the mind and the spirit.