Taking Faithful Notes on Life Lessons

I first met Ben when he was a freshman in my English class. He did something one day that I believe will stick with me for the rest of my teaching career. Every once in a while, I’ll interrupt the academic lesson with a casual thought that begins with “This is a life lesson …”

Where Is the Holy Spirit in Spirit Week?

Has anyone else realized the horror of “Decades Day” as a part of Spirit Week all around the country? Those of us who have teenagers under our care may be familiar. During Spirit Week at many high schools, students get to dress up and celebrate at school with fun and wacky outfits. For “Decades Day,” students enjoy wearing throwbacks from earlier times, choosing one decade to represent the occasion.

School Excellence Requires Christian Community

In my last blog, I wrote about how grace drives excellence. Particularly, I pointed out the importance for the Lutheran educator to strive toward excellence in his craft of teaching. I would like to continue with that theme as we consider that while the Lutheran educator strives for excellence as a response to the grace received by God, such excellence is impossible outside of a community.

Law and Gospel in the Classroom

The Lutheran school system is a strange place, theologically speaking. It stands in the gap between a world of rules and a world of forgiveness. Following the scriptural insights of Martin Luther, we understand that God governs our culture according to what are traditionally referred to as the two kingdoms.

A New Normal for Christian Classrooms

Earlier this week I returned home from work despondent. I hadn’t had a “bad day.” I was simply overwhelmed. Between mask wearing and mask monitoring, trying to balance my attention between the in-class and the online students, and working to prepare for the end of the most challenging school year in my twenty years of teaching at a Lutheran school, I was just “done” for the day.

A Last Lesson of a School Year: the Aroma of Pizza

We are finally at the time of year where summer is sitting on the edge of the bed, waiting to hop off and come back into our lives for a well-timed visit. In Lutheran schools everywhere, students, staff, and faculty are making the mad dash toward the finish line. This includes securing funding, resetting for the next year, making sure grades are in, and lots of end-of-year classroom celebrations.

Theology of Education: Equipped to Serve

“What is your theology of education?”

It’s a question I ask candidates during those infrequent moments I find myself on an interview committee. I challenge you, dear reader, to stop for a moment and ponder that question before continuing. Go ahead … I’ll wait.

Celebrating Black History Month in a Christian Classroom

A year of changes brings a year of adaptations. How blessed we are to serve our God, who is unchanged in His love, care, and provision for us. He even provides ways for us to spread His love and care to others through loving our neighbors intentionally and consistently in various contexts. As Sunday School teachers, classroom teachers, youth leaders, and children’s ministry champions, we have the chance to engage cross-culturally with our students and young people, while adding richly to our own cultures, in response to the gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Distance Learning: Daily Routines to Save Your Sanity

Many families are beginning this new school year with some version of distance learning taking place in their homes. How can we make this challenging situation a little bit easier for busy parents and help encourage our kids to grow in their faith at the same time? Here are a few ideas to help you set a daily routine for your distance learners!

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.

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