“What do you want the caption to say under your picture in the year book? Social Studies teacher?”
I didn’t tell the earnest web design teacher that the day I started as the social studies teacher, I had no idea what the phrase “social studies” meant.
“How about permanent sub?”
I’ve been teaching 9th and 10th grade World History and Geography.
“Oh good, I always wanted you to learn more in those subjects,” my Mom said.
Okinawa Christian School International started as a small school for missionaries’ children in the 1950’s.
Eventually, OCSI became open to all students, regardless of faith. The majority of students are Japanese, Okinawan, Philipino, Korean, etc. with about 1/4 Caucasian. There are many students who have one American parent and one Okinawan parent. Unfortunately, I’ve met more than one student who has an American father who is now back in the states after a divorce.
Some students have been kicked out of the DOD schools, many are the children of teachers and pastors on the island, some were bullied in the Japanese schools because they are half American, and some are there to get an English education.
All classes are taught and tested in English.
I agreed to teach four classes, two World History and two Geography for the second half of the school year (except for a previously planned trip to the States). I am responsible for lesson plans, tests, and quizzes. I have much freedom.
This is a stretch for me. My flesh is self centered. Teaching forces me to be others focused. I am grateful. Also, I have personally learned much about the world around me.
How can we still ascertain that people are basically good when we study even one century of history?
One of my consistent prayers and daily challenges is how to speak the Truth clearly and boldly without teaching students to simply regurgitate christianese nonsense. I believe there may be such a thing as too many “devotions.” The Japanese are largely a culture that has been taught to learn the answers, to learn to test. They have not necessarily been taught to think critically.
I see a tendency (even in my own heart) to teach the right words to say, the correct concepts, to focus on behavior modification and then to congratulate ourselves on the number of “professions of faith” we get.
I believe that very few of my students are believers.
But, I am not ashamed (Lord make me unashamed) of the Gospel for it is the power of God to salvation. I pray that I never lie to them. That I don’t pretend that I am perfect. Make me quick to ask for forgiveness. I pray that I will decrease, that He will increase and that these students will see Christ in me, not me. Not me. Not me.
Ps. why do Christian schools insist on being “Crusaders.”
Crusaders or Eagles
I can say this. I was an Eagle at a Christian school.