If I’ve learnt one thing this year it’s how to be flexible! Our everyday life has been drastically interrupted and changed, but learning for us all continues, we continue to adapt, to change, to stretch, to grow.
As a school community, this year we have continually asked ourselves, what have we learnt from changing our practices? What’s the ‘take away’? What has been good, and what practices will we continue on into the future? As we lean into God and listen to His voice, what has he been teaching us, what have we learnt? Learning and re-learning happens in so many ways!
Last week I joined in watching the celebration of the life of Martin Hanscamp, past Principal of MECS (2002-2013), a person who had great vision and understanding of Christian education. He was an amazing person who will be deeply missed. In true Martin style he showed up on a video at his own funeral, ministered to us and shared a favourite Bible passage:
Take your everyday ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life - and place it before God as an offering. Romans 12:1
This was a great reminder, that in all we do to place Christ at the centre and offer it up to Him.
As teachers of kindergarten children, we grapple with the notion of the image of the child; how they are capable, strong, full of wonder and have incredible insights. If this is true, then all that I do in my planning and teaching must reflect this belief. In the framework for Christian Education, Transformational Education’ (p121) it states; ‘A key idea in Christian education is that teaching and learning are to be ‘Christ-centred and child oriented.’ I am always amazed by the children’s offerings, as they bring their gifts, ideas, skills and insights to the learning environment. It is about allowing our children to shape the learning process and it is the Biblical story that provides the framework for curriculum and learning.
At MECS I always love our workbreak week! It is a busy time full of meetings (online of course), professional and curriculum development. There never seems to be enough time for everything. However, a priority is that time is put aside to delve into our perspectival opportunities (I have coined a Martin made up word here)- the Biblical perspective on the curriculum. I am amazed at the outcome as all teachers participated in a curriculum workshop, and then walked through a virtual tour of the work done by all via an online gallery walk to show our learning.
The Big idea in our 4-year-old curriculum topic this term is: We are wonderfully and fearfully made. God created us uniquely. We are all the same but different. We can use our gifts to help others and God’s greatest gift to us is Jesus. Big ideas for little people!
One aspect we look at is people in the community; how Doctors/Truck drivers/Firefighters/Police/Vets etc, all use their gifts and talents to help others. We look at how we are all part of a big puzzle and God’s desire is that we work together in community, to love Him and to love others. Here is one child’s reflections on this topic from a few years ago, “Oh Mrs Mason, that’s why I’m not good at running, I’m good at singing!!” I love that this child, although just 4 years old, learned something he was good at, embraced it then acknowledged that others are learning that they are good at things different to him, and that’s ok. Looking forward to all the learning this term…