Laura's Passion Post: Christian Teachers in Public Schools
Hello! My name is Laura, and I’m excited for the chance to guest post on This Rookie Wife. I found Brianna’s blog this spring, through another blog. Though I’m not yet a wife or mother myself, I feel as though I can relate to Brianna in other ways, and enjoy her perspective on the many topics she discusses!
To give you a bit of a background on myself, I’m 22, a Christian, and an Education student. I’ve student taught in kindergarten and grades 5/6 multi-age classes, and this spring I had the opportunity to work as an Educational Assistant (sometimes known as Teacher Assistant...basically just helping in a classroom where needed or working with a specific student who needs extra help) in a kindergarten class. I have two more years of school before I graduate, and once I’m done school I intend on working in a public school.
My passion that I want to share with you is that I believe we need more Christian teachers in public schools. I know a lot of Christian teachers and student teachers who only want to work in private Christian schools, and if that is where they’ve been called by God, then that is great! The atmosphere of working a public school is certainly different, and a Christian teacher certainly cannot share their faith with their students through words. But I believe that actions often, if not always, speak louder than words, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with my students and show them respect and love and acceptance through my actions, and to be a support and encouragement to them in the midst of whatever circumstances they are living through. The many kids in public schools do not come from Christian families, and maybe I will be the only person in their life who prays for them and even though I can’t pray with them, I trust that my prayers will have an impact for their life.
But the cool thing about working in a public school is that while I cannot verbally share my faith with my students, am I able to with other staff members. With some staff members who I don’t know well, sharing my faith with them looks the same as with my students; being respectful, loving, accepting, encouraging and supportive through my actions. With others, it might be as simple as sharing that this weekend I went to my church’s young adults group on Saturday night and church on Sunday morning. With still others, it might be asking if I can pray with for them during a tough situation or inviting them to come to church with me sometime.
Teaching in a public school is no more special of a ‘mission field’ than any other secular workplace, but it does provide the honour of sharing your faith with both children and adults, despite that sharing being manifested in different ways. I completely respect Christian teachers who work at Christian schools, but I hope I’ve opened your eyes a bit more to how working in a public school is in no way a lesser workplace for Christian teachers!