It is not so much that we are bringing Christ into the classroom as much as recognizing that He is already there. This insight is nothing new to Christian educators, but it is a novel experience for me not only to share my faith so openly in the classroom but to teach it as well. Below are some of the ways that faith and learning are integrated in my classroom here at RVA.
(1) Bible as a subject is taught in class daily.
The first thirty minutes of the day are allotted for Bible instruction. We are currently studying the book of Colossians. We have been talking about the supremacy of Christ and all that we inherit through Him.
(2) We promote Scripture memory.
Each grade level has a list of verses they should be working on memorizing through the school year. I have been teaching memorization strategies and how to approach the passages they are memorizing devotionally. I will be memorizing the verses along with them.
(3) We relate the Christian faith to what they are learning in each subject.
For example, I was teaching the students about Haiku poetry last week. After describing and practicing the structure, I turned the class loose onto the playground, and I asked them to compose a Haiku about the nature they observed. I requested that they do it prayerfully, however, recognizing the majesty of God’s Creation. They produced some very moving poems. I have selected a few below.
The birds are chirping.
Thank you that the birds can sing.
Birds fly through the sky.
I hear the birds sing.
God is so amazing, yes!
Birds hop on the grass.
The sounds of bird songs.
The voices of kids laughing–
Mighty voice of God.
The bright summer sun,
The nature all around me–
One wonderful God.
The one Creator
The awesome God who made me–
I’m amazed at Him!
Thank you for nature,
Thank you, Lord, for Creation–
Thank you, Lord, for birds.
(4) Students have the freedom to express their faith in class.
I didn’t have much time to decorate my room between arrival day in Africa and the first day of school. When school started, my room was quite bare. This week, I gave students the opportunity to stay after class and decorate the room and make it their own. A few students took me up on the offer. I had a meeting to attend after school, so I wasn’t able to stay and supervise. When I returned, the classroom was beautifully decorated, but what impressed me most was the bulletin board featuring the word “Love”. The subheading they created was, “List ways you can show the love of Christ to others.” They had designed a board specifically to encourage the class to think about how to share God’s love! My eyes moistened. I think I have more to learn from this class than I ever expected.