As regulars here know, I'm a school teacher by profession. As regulars here also know, I've recently moved to a rural town from the big smoke of Sydney. I've been trying to establish my old teaching career again up here, but it's been a bit tough with so few schools in the area. In any case, the school I've just started in is the first time I've taught outside the public school sector, and it's therefore the first time I've taught in a Christian School. The first thing I noticed was how Christian the school actually was. It's not like the secular Christian school (eg, the Catholic system) where it's simply run by a church while the teachers can be of any faith at all, but instead all the teachers are church-going Christians. In fact, the contract I signed as a Casual teacher required me to regularly attend church, and that if this were to change I would be liable to immediate termination. Though as a casual they could simply choose not to hire me again, but if I were a temporary or permanent teacher not attending church regularly would be cause for dismissal.
Roll Call began at 9am. I marked the roll, the kids handed all electronic equipment in, to be collected at the end of the day (a system I wish more public schools would adopt, trying to get kids to focus when all they want to do is take photos and upload them to Facebook is not easy). Then I was required to lead the class in prayer to begin the day. Nothing fancy, just the run-of-the-mill commit the day to God kind of prayer. In my first class for the day, I told the kids to forgive me for any mistakes I make with names or procedure, it's after all only my first day, and they said "Don't worry sir, no one knows everything". Keeping in mind that one of the classroom expectations is for the teacher to introduce Jesus/God into the discussion I (feeling a tad foolish as I did so) said "well, there is someone who knows everything, do you know who that is"? These are primary students, if I was teaching a High School class I probably wouldn't have been so "Sunday School" with the do-you-know-who-that-is line, but a kid of course yelled out GOD, I praised her for her awareness.
In any case, I then supervised a Reading Group of two levels of students who ranged from Years 2 to Year 6, they were scaled according to their reading ability. Great class, if all my classes were like that I'd be in heaven, teacher-wise. This went for an hour, and at 10am I had the Year 5 and 6 combined class for maths, they were doing 2-dimensional shapes. That was fun, the kids were a little more rowdy but on the whole nothing like I'm used to in the public sector. That finished at 10:30am and I spent the next 90 minutes marking their work. I was only employed for half a day, so I left at 1:30, after having lunch with some staff, two of whom live less than two streets from me.
So that's my day in a Christian School. Primarily I think I wrote this thread to tell you all about how the day went, but obviously there's a bit of a discussion point underlying this in terms of teaching God in the classroom - it's a private school, and the parents know what's going on, but the question on teaching faith in a place of facts deserves to be addressed. As does the policy of only hiring Christian staff who regularly attend church, and not going to church regularly is grounds for dismissal. Remember though that this section isn't for sceptical debate, so please don't chime in with "prove God exists" or any other such debate. Differing opinions are welcome, but I don't want to be drawn into sceptical debate on the issue.
~ Regards, PA
Edited by Paranoid Android, 13 August 2014 - 08:28 AM.