The idea of mission is deeply rooted in Christian thinking and the Latin theological concept of mission dei, the mission of God. The Christian school community, centered on the person of Jesus Christ, has historically been on mission to extend and build the kingdom through its ministry to children. In obedience to Psalm 78:4-7, God’s people are to “tell the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done…that the generation to come might know…that they should put their confidence in God” (NASB).
The apostle Paul expressed his mission when he wrote, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). This mission is the mission of Christian schooling, and it is to this purpose that Christian educators are called.
In their recently released book U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots, George Barna and David Barton combine years of research and study to “examine the moral and spiritual underpinnings that made the United States great, explain the causes of decline over the past forty years, and offer a detailed road map for the future.”
As an educator, several things have caught my attention during my initial reading of the book. Consider the following:
Day by day we are seeing an ever-increasing use of technology. The growth in the past few years has been exponential and, not surprisingly, educators have come to an almost Messianic view of iPads and other devices.
Of course, while seasoned teachers are sifting through the packaging looking for the instruction manual, fourth graders are playing Temple Run II with the ease of duckling on his first swim. They finger-swipe the front door of the house and stand perplexed that it failed to open (that truly happened). So, since technology is so powerful and kids so love it, will devices revolutionize education?
I entered school in the 50s. Since that time, a lot of changes have taken place in education and these changes have made a significant difference in the lives of children.
© 2008 Nonnerboy. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#42).
Several years ago, I came across a short description of some losses kids had experienced since the 1950s. Having lived through theses decades, I knew these losses were a reality and included this list in my book Kingdom Education. Consider the following:
Ok, that title isn’t really true. Not even a little bit. Actually, jet lag is not good for anyone – it can disrupt sleep cycles, make you cranky and cause memory loss.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Johnson’s Facebook page.
I know a little something about jet lag because I run an organization that chases stories around the world, trains many hundreds of leadership students from at least four continents, and I have sampled more pillows than any normal person should. Over a period of 12 busy weeks this past season, I found myself in 14 different countries. So jet lag, for better or for worse, has become my partner!
If we fail to plan, the ole’ sayin’ goes, we are planning to fail. That may not be a polished way of saying it, but it is an undeniable truth. Planning does not insure success, but failing to plan makes failure a near certainty.
© 2012 Jen Hegna. Creative Commons. Click here for full citation (#13).
So, you thought that February was for lovers, focused on Valentines’ Day. That’s fine, but February should also be for planners. Administrators find that planning is a continuous activity. So let’s think about one aspect of planning that should be on your radar right now.
One of the most important duties of the school leader is to serve as the “gate keeper” of the school family. Admission decisions must be in keeping with the school’s mission. But the keeping of the gate does not apply only to student admission; the school leader must also hire well.
© 2012 Nathan Stephens. Creative Commons. Click here for full citation (#9).
My friend, Scott Barron, says that strong school heads–hire well, fire well, and raise funds. Although a simplistic approach, the fact is that effective school leaders must hire well. Hiring well can prove to be a challenging task. Is the teacher qualified?