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PART 1:

In reading the passages listed below, it appeared as though they all seemed
to have a common them: God and his magnificent creation. Each passage brought
up different avenues to the theme of God and creation, but I found that a common
idea expressed was stewardship and thankfulness toward God. When talking about
the word flourishing, Wolterstorff claims that The first definition has an inward
focus on the individual, and the second has an outward orientation, with a primary
focus on God (Beerens). This quote from the passage briefly demonstrates how we
should be living for God first and foremost. As a whole, it seemed as though each
passage stressed the emphasis of bringing a Christian perspective into the
classroom and how its important for our future students to appreciate the work God
has done and does for us.
PART 3:
When I think about myself as a future teacher in the classroom, I immediately
envision a strong demonstration of self-efficacy for my students to follow and learn
from. Like any other future teacher, I want my students to feel comfortable, loved,
challenged, and engaged. I am thankful enough to have been blessed with an
education that provided these four aspects for myself. In return, Id like to be a
teacher who pushes their students to grow, learn, and prosper in the world in which
we live in and care for.
In the passage from Christian Educators Journal, Westerhof explains that we
as teachers are not to try and save children or keep them from falling away from
God, but instead hunker down and help the students see, The well-being of this
place, because this is Gods will (Westerhof, p. 7). To articulate more on this section
of Westerhofs passage, I feel it is important for us as teachers to ensure our
students understand how consecrated our environment and surroundings are.
Growing up in a rural setting I have developed a passion for the outdoors and
environment, and would love to express this love to my future students. I feel it is
important for students to learn to appreciate what they have been blessed with
before they can learn to take care of it.
After having attended public school from kindergarten through twelfth grade,
I cant remember a specific instance when a Christian perspective was incorporated
into my learning. This is an area that I want to ensure I touch base with as a
teacher. More specifically, I want to emphasize Gods creation and how we as
humans are to maintain his creation, and not just live in it. As stated in Peter 4:10,
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's
varied grace. Though this may be a hard concept for younger students to grasp, I
feel as though there are multiple ways to incorporate the idea of stewardship
towards Gods creation into my teachings. For example, teaching students to take
care of the classroom and clean up after themselves is a great foundation of
stewardship for students to begin with. When explaining how and why we need to
take care of our environment, it will be beneficial to reference back to the classroom
and show students how a specific environmental topic relates to our classroom. It is
important for students to appreciate the grace we as humans have been given, and

understand that maintaining such creations from God is all a part of being his
children.
While trying to think of a way that my beliefs will play out in the classroom, I
came across the idea of trying to integrate a more student-centered philosophy of
teaching. In doing so, this would allow for me to create projects that express the
stewardship towards Gods creation. For example, one project idea could be to have
each student brainstorm a way that they can help the environment on a small scale
and then compare with a partner or a group. Next, the students would plan a
method to accomplish the idea they brainstormed. In doing this type of project, I
would be incorporating a vast amount of hands on learning, while incorporating a
Christian perspective even if I dont deliberately state how it applies (OLAS, 70).
How do both teachers and students contribute to a positive learning
environment? The answer to this question connects to the philosophy of studentcentered learning and how, Students learn best by doing, rather than from
listening (OLAS, 65). After having visited the John Ball Park Zoo School, I was
introduced to this style of learning and saw how well it worked in person. By
providing students with more freedom and choice in what they study, I will in turn
be facilitating them to have a greater interest in their education. As the teacher, I
will then act as more of a guide to their learning. Though this is a more challenging
method of learning for students, it creates a stronger engagement which in turn
optimizes a positive learning environment for students.
Altogether, I want my students to create a love and understanding for the
environment and their surroundings, so that they can uphold this wonderful creation
from God. This is no easy task to accomplish in a secular school setting. I feel that
through a student-centered learning philosophy, I will be able to incorporate a
Christian perspective that students will grasp and learn from. Using such a learning
philosophy will allow students to receive a Christian perspective in their education
without being deliberately taught about God.

Beerens, D. (2013). Christian education: Authentic and sticky. Christian Educators


Journal, 52(3). Retrieved from http://www.cejonline.com/article/christian-educationauthentic-and
Oakes, J., Lipton, M., Anderson, L. & Stillman, J. (2013). Teaching To Change the
World (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, p. xv.
Westerhof, P. (2000). The welfare of the city. Christian Educators Journal, February,
p. 7