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Written by

Janine Bolling

Janine Bolling is a Brooklyn-born-and-reared millennial, who is passionate about practical education and connecting people with resources. She works full-time as an admissions recruiter for SUNY, part-time as an adjunct professor of theology at Concordia College New York, and part-time as deaconess at St. Peter's Lutheran Church Brooklyn. The rest of her time is spent in EdD studies at Concordia University Wisconsin in the Leadership in Innovation and Continuous Improvement Program and with family and friends. Janine is a foodie and WILL fight you about why New York pizza is better than all other pizzas.

Recent Posts by Janine Bolling

Epic Fails Are Normal

When was the last time you failed at something? Did you truly fail or just stop trying? 

In my work, I ask students to recall failure as part of our now-common virtual interactions. When middle schoolers or high schoolers answer, they usually reflect on a major test or quiz. When college students answer, their responses are more mixed, as experiences at that age are more diverse. Some speak of an entire course, while others venture into explorations of failed attempts at making a team or becoming a part of a group. We then talk about what we learned from failures and how weaving past mistakes into our approach can equip us for future success. These are all from a perspective we see commonly spoken about in our world today.

Spiritual Care for Students Delaying Dreams

How long is your list of cancellations this year? Each month of 2020 seems to try to bring back one thing we lost and also takes away something many of us were looking forward to. A majority of my day is spent helping high school students who are transitioning to college. One of the most disappointing pieces of news that I have to deliver over and over again is telling a student that he or she waited too long to take advantage of an opportunity. Yes, deadlines are clearly stated, but additionally, some things “run out” if you do not jump on them quickly enough. In my job, this happens most often when classes fill up, when dorms reach capacity, or when scholarship money is used up. As if these missed opportunities were not difficult enough, many students in 2020 are also encountering cancellations from the world as well—through no direct fault of their own. We struggle in this together.

Jesus: Our Normal This School Year

This fall will be full of muffled sounds. The voices of our students will be muffled by the masks they wear. Teachers in face shields will project even more than usual to get their points across. Socially distant lunchtimes may prove themselves to be more quiet—or possibly louder! Professional development and faculty meetings via Zoom where administrators and teachers remain on mute only until ready and allowed to speak may continue as the norm for a while. Staff, faculty, and students returning to campuses nationwide will be separated by glass shields and assigned seating. Our class time, work time, and downtime will continue to look different.

Cultivating Diversity in the Classroom

A diverse classroom fosters a safe space for launching outreach. Our schools serve as outposts to the community, often providing our neighbors’ first interactions with God’s people. The “diversity” buzzword is not new to education, as many teachers, administrators, and homeschool parents have been working to incorporate diversity into the classroom for years.

4 Tips for Faith-Focused “Screen-Free” Hours this Summer

Our new normal will not feel normal. In many states across the country, local governments are rolling out reopening plans. This all coincides with school letting out for “summer”, which feels different than it ever has before. After months of being at home completing a half year’s coursework through remote learning during a pandemic . . . what happens now?

One thing that helps us to remain grounded as worries abound is this: This is not God’s first pandemic! We follow behind the One who goes before us, and He is our ever-present help in time of need.