Since the age of 16, I knew I wanted to teach. Providence ended up being the perfect place for God to prepare me for a career as a teacher. In retrospect, it amazes me to trace all the ways that circumstances worked out through my years of college to get me ready for exactly the place God has led me: teaching world history, U.S. history, English, and music to high school students at a small, secular private boarding school for international students.
I started at Providence as an Elementary Education Major and fell in love with my first education class–Education 101. I studied everything from lesson planning to curriculum mapping, from differentiated instruction to how socio economic status affects learning. I learned all this under Education professors who modeled and demonstrated what they said each day when they came to class. In my professors I found inspiration, honesty, and a selflessness that showed me what being a Christian called to teaching was really all about.
When I began student teaching I was placed in a junior high Bible class at a non-denominational Christian school. There, I found a myriad of opportunities to share my faith on both simple and complex levels. I was constantly amazed at the questions that 12-year-olds could come up with. “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross—couldn’t he have just asked God to forgive anyone who repented?” or “I heard that Jesus went to hell for three days after he died—is that true?” But I was equally amazed at how I was able to answer these questions and guide these discussions so unhesitatingly. As I spent time day after day talking to these students, God was revealing to me how much I had learned from those Bible and Reformed Doctrine classes at Providence. I found myself prepared to give an answer for the hope I have and also confident in the reasons for what I profess and ready to defend my worldviews with passion and surety.
Though the position I find myself in now as a teacher is different than I imagined, I am able to ask my students questions, get them discussing moral dilemmas, and challenging them to connect what they see in history with their own lives and current society. They ask me questions about the meaning and purpose of life, the possibility of divinity, and the human need for salvation. Because of my Providence education, I have learned the value of thinking critically and passing on the skill of evaluating and testing one’s own worldview.
I hope and pray that God will use me at Excelsior School to inspire students to seek out the truth and recognize their desperate need for Christ. Please pray for me as I serve in this calling and also please pray for Providence as it prepares new classes of students to better know and serve God with all their hearts, souls, and minds in the particular missions that He has called each of them to.