I was fresh out of college with a degree in elementary/special education and an excitement to pour myself into a classroom full of children. From the time I was a little girl there was a desire deep in my heart to teach. After years of preparing, the time had finally come to enter the career driven world. But there was one problem: none of our local schools had any teaching positions available.
Discouraged, I began working as a daycare employee and, eventually, as a nanny. It wasn’t an ideal situation but at least I could spend time loving on little children while also bringing in an income to begin paying off those large college loans. I did this line of work for quite some time until an idea to start my own Christ centered preschool began to take root. (Last week Becky discussed why we both feel preschool is an important part of our children’s educational experience.)
Dave, my husband, and I spent months creating a business plan. I got my DBA, secured a venue, began advertising. I was enrolling children and preparing to open when a different reality hit – there were not enough children registered to make the business successful. Devastated, I made the decision to close the preschool before it even had a chance to open.
As I sat on the phone, tears running down my face, explaining to parents that their enrolled children would not be starting at my preschool in September, I felt total despair. Every time I felt God calling me in a direction… things failed. Which, in hindsight, is a good indicator that it was never God’s calling to begin with.
In this place of brokenness I realized I had been asking God to bless my plans, not His. And that is when I finally surrendered my future to the Lord. In that moment a new desire, one to be used in a way that would accomplish His purpose, filled my heart with joy. Two hours after this shift in my perspective, I received a call from a local Christian school asking me to come interview for their third grade teaching position!
I spent the next several years, before becoming a stay at home mom, living my childhood dream. I worked in third grade before transitioning to kindergarten and cherished every aspect of the experience. I loved the children, their parents and families, my co-workers, and all the fun learning that comes with running your own classroom. God grew my faith and my confidence in those years and I look back on them now with appreciation and fondness.
Ironically, my own children do not attend a Christian school (I will talk more about that in a few weeks!) but I am still a huge proponent of them and here’s why –
- Biblical truths are reinforced in every part of the curriculum. From science and social studies to writing and reading, the Bible is the most important tool for teaching.
- Christian schools share the same values as Christian families. Character development is an important aspect to this kind of education.
- Class sizes are smaller and allow the teachers to give more individualized attention to each student.
- Christian schools understand, value, and encourage prayer.
- The families investing in a Christian education often form lifelong relationships with one another. They work together to support, encourage, and positively impact each others children.
When it comes to education there is a huge debate in the local church between public school vs. Christian school vs. homeschooling. Personally, I don’t think there is one right choice. The dynamics of family, individual character traits of children, demographic of where you live, and so many other variables play a crucial role in deciding which is the best education when it comes to your children.
But there certainly is something desirable about the community and intimacy found in Christian schools. If you attended a Christian school or are sending your children to one we would love to hear your feedback! What were some of the things you enjoy(ed) about that experience?