I am so thankful to welcome Aubrey McQuade, our very own first grade teacher, as our guest writer. Aubrey has a heart for teaching and for missions. Before joining our WCS family, she was a teacher of many little hearts on the mission field in Bangladesh. ~Tricia Deisch
The mission statement of Warsaw Christian School is that we train the whole child in body, mind and spirit to be prepared for life and eternity by providing quality Christian education.
There is something so special about working with children in wholeness. Warsaw Christian challenges our students to reach their potential in life through academic excellence, and yet the vision reaches farther still. Certainly,we seek excellence in academics as we are called to work for the Lord, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
While our students are working for the Lord in their studies they are also encouraged, challenged, and pointed with gentle guidance to see God in all of life.
When we discuss taking care of our bodies through healthy eating, or exercise in PE or science classes, the students are not told that they should do this for only health reasons, but also as an act of worship. God created our bodies. They are a temple as the Holy Spirit indwells each follower of Christ.
Students drill math facts everyday. Even this can bring glory to God. Our students build character as they study facts and persevere through testing. While math facts cemented in the mind will aid in tasks of later years, the patience, strength and perseverance built in drilling are all qualities that will also aid students as they work through relationships and challenges in the work world.
In my science class we have been learning about wild animals. This topic opened up great discussions about how God created the world around us. We investigated the creativity in creation. We learned how our God is both a master artist and planner, as he designed creatures to live in various habitats with many means of survival.
For writer’s workshop my students wrote an “All About Book” about a wild animal! They also created a shoe box habitat and shared their findings of their animal with the rest of the class!
Through science this week we focused on the love of God for our world and the fact that he has made us stewards to care for this planet. As we follow through on this commandment from God, it is important at school that every single class in school points back to our awesome Creator, Savior and Lord.
School is also a place of social development. In the classrooms students raise prayers for their classmates, their families, and community. They pray with one another and seek the forgiveness found in the grace of Christ when sin has been committed. They show the love and grace and kindness that flows from the Holy Spirit.
Because of the openness we have to share the truth in school, I was so excited to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day with my students.
It was another opportunity for me to embrace academic challenges, discussion of truth, and development of heart with my class.
Remember-Whole Life Learning.
I desired for my students to see this holiday as a time to celebrate that God has made every single one of his children in his image.
No human being should be treated as less than another.
As Genesis 1:27 says,
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
Made in the image of God, each individual on this planet is bearing the characteristics of our beautiful God.
People are creators, dreamers of impossible dreams, factual planners, scientists, mathematicians, artists, athletes, organizers, and advocates of justice and hope.
People with their gifting, talents, and interests, show our world just a glimpse of how vast is the character of our Lord God.
In class on MLK day, we remembered why we celebrate this day and how Martin Luther King Jr. used the gifting he had to serve God and bring about justice- the heart of God to America.
The day began simply as students gathered together around the whiteboard. I showed them two chicken eggs. One egg was brown, the other white. The students began to list characteristics of the eggs that made them different but were only able to come up with one item. The fact they were different colors. We then listed what was the same about the eggs, both had shells, both could roll, both were hard and smooth, both had clear goop, both had a yellow yolk, both could be eaten, and so on.
The color of the egg did not change identity of the eggs. They were both eggs. This sparked a conversation that though people in the world come in many different shades of color we are all people. God who is the master artist created diversity among his children. And since we are all people, it means we are all made in the image of God, we are all offered salvation through Jesus Christ and invited to become the children of God.
I read my students the following poem
God made diversity in our world and it is something to be celebrated!
I explained how in Dr. King’s time, African Americans were considered as less or lower than white Americans.
My students reacted strongly, “That is not right! How could people do that? It is so mean!”
I told the class that Dr. King knew that God cared about all people. Dr. King cared for the African American community that was mistreated in America so he became a voice for change. His dream was that all people would come together to treat one another with the love of family, as brothers and sisters. “May we not be judged by the color of our skin but the content of our character. I have a dream!” MLK Jr.
We live in a day where freedom rings and yet sin claws its bitter way in. Our nation is not free of racism, judgement, criticism. Cruel words can fly even in the Christian community.
But thank God that he is the God of freedom. He is healer, bringing forgiveness in his nail scarred hands. Thank God as Romans 7:24-25 says, “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Since we have been freed by God we know that we live in mercy.
So, my next question for my students was WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?
God calls us to loosen the chains of injustice. As Christians, we know we live in a fallen world but are given the heart of God to care for the people around us.
What is broken and sad in this world that hurts your heart? What is your dream to make it better? What can you do?
We can start small, promoting anti-bullying in our own school, our own classroom. We can have the dream that no one is left out. We can make this dream happen by looking to see who is alone and going to talk to them.
We can dream big and say that every person in our town should be able to eat hot meals. How can this happen? Can we raise money for a soup kitchen?
I asked my students to think of ways they could make the world a better place. We could start small and go large! After all we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world.
My students were given three little clouds labeled with “My dream.” They then had the chance to consider three areas where they could help our world.
I loved seeing their hearts come out on these bits of paper.
The students thought of personal dreams for school, to treat people with kindness, to play with others, to learn lots.
In the community someone wrote that “I dream that the mayor will make good decisions.” Someone else wrote “That all people will have food.”, and another shared they hoped “There will be hotels with free pools for everyone.”
Their dreams for the world touched me the most. Nearly every student wrote about people being loved, and knowing God.
My heart for my class, my heart for all of Warsaw Christian School, is that we understand the vastness of God’s love for us, and through that understanding we respond in love to God by loving his people.
So back to the beginning of this post, the vision of the school is to train the whole child, body, spirit, and mind to be prepared for life and eternity by providing quality Christian education.
May the skills they learn, and the character they develop, here under the nurturing of the staff and mighty power of God, create world changers. Children who go at life with the heart of God, in the simple moments of loving our neighbors and choosing what is right.