Funny thing, being a Christian teacher. It has so many definitions and so many ways of manifesting itself in each individual teacher. In case my blog readers haven’t already noticed, one of the goals of this blog is to meet the needs of ALL Christian teachers, whether they are teaching in Christian schools, homeschooling or in secular schools.
Recently, I made the decision to leave the Christian school where I have been teaching for six years. It was a painful choice, as it was the place where I originally began my career. The decision came about due to a variety of reasons: financial, ideological, professional and personal.
And now I am finding myself teaching sixth grade at an Orthodox Jewish school with the definite understanding that it will not be an evangelical setting for my particular faith. What a change from teaching in a school that actively encouraged evangelism and supported teachers who led students in salvation prayers especially in the elementary grades.
While I am very excited to be able to finally afford to study for my Master’s degree after having dreamed, searching and strategized for so long, I also know that it will be difficult for me to find personal support in surviving my new environment. Value systems are different in some ways, and I occasionally find myself wondering whether I will inadvertently make a few mistakes along the way and offend my new Jewish co-workers, parents or students.
Regardless of where I teach, it doesn’t change the fact that the Spirit of God resides within me, constantly prompting me to grow inwardly and to manifest the fruits of the Spirit in my daily behavior. Having enjoyed the amazingly good behavior of my Christian school students, I will be facing the challenge of classroom management once again, hoping that I can conquer my own frustrations, my loneliness at having left my fellow Christian co-workers behind, and learn how to work outside the Christian bubble with which I was constantly surrounded.
For those of you who are Christians teaching in a non-Christian or secular school, I would appreciate your advice or commentaries. God bless each and every one of you and sustain you as the new school year begins.