Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
One of my favorite quotes is “The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
This past school year has proved to be a tough climb. There were many challenges that we faced but maybe the most difficult was the constant pivoting. In my classroom alone, I went from teaching 100% online, to half of my student in person and half online, to zooming and teaching my in-person students simultaneously. I was not alone on the journey of varying my teaching style and curriculum many times throughout the year. To say it was pure chaos is putting it lightly. Between technology issues and mental health breakdowns it was a wonder that not one teacher quit.
For the past few years, our school has been focused on teaching students to have a growth mindset. The power of YET. We didn’t know that we would be asked to practice what we preach in such a powerful way. James 1 verse 2 tells us “Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Many things we were asked to do felt impossible, but we pushed through and from that perseverance, God pulled out a steadfastness in each teacher that has been inspiring to witness. I’ve seen kindergarten teachers using Google classroom seamlessly, which seemed like an impossibility at the beginning of the year. I’ve seen 3rd grade teachers use standardized testing as an opportunity to teach their students to encourage one another. I’ve seen junior high staff, love and care for students as they struggle through mental health issues. The work never ended but the perseverance displayed made us better than before. The simple truth that we were made for a time such as this has become the driving force and encouragement to keep going.
So yes, the climb was hard but the view I see now is beautiful. I see a staff that is more faithful, has more grit, and is more compassionate and caring than ever before. The experience of this past year has taught us not to take anything for granted and to press in even when it’s tough because the results are beautiful.
I am so thankful to our amazing administrators, Mr. G and Ms. Thompson, who have gone above and beyond in the care of their staff. Some of the ways they supported us this year was by hiring full time aides for almost every elementary classroom, asking for teacher input and responding to suggestions, giving technical support, lavishing us with resources such as Teachers Pay Teachers, and forming committee’s to further support the future of our school. I am overwhelmingly grateful to have leaders who pray, seek wisdom, and are steeped in God’s word. It is because of their leadership that we have not only kept our head above water, but we have been empowered to be the best that we can be!
— Jessica Hall, Transitional Kindergarten Teacher