By Daniel Frlan, Teacher
Stories. Everyone loves a good story. We all have our own story, and we build connection and community with others when we share our stories with each other, allowing others to look beyond the exterior routines and structures of our lives into the core of our hearts, seeing what we value, what we love, and what we celebrate. The telling of our stories not only builds belonging and trust but can also shape others. As we actively share of ourselves, we begin to form bonds and build shared experiences which begin to reshape and refine us. In Christian education, we not only frame all we do in God’s Story, we also actively participate in God’s Story. Christian education shapes our core desires, inviting students, families, and communities to love God, to love the Gospel, and live out the Kingdom on a daily basis. As Christian educators, we embody God’s Story, journeying together, leading each other to be people who primarily love, desire, and live in the Kingdom of God for the glory of God (James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love).
During my time teaching Science, History, and Math this year, I have also been able to partner with a multi-age classroom teaching team, experiencing first-hand the unique advantages and benefits to doing education in a dynamic, collaborative, and diversified setting. I have noticed how teachers are more able to meet individual students’ needs, provide a supportive learning environment, and to work together to plan and revise curriculum that is engaging and formational.
One thing I love about our school is the commitment to helping students grow at their level, to the best of their ability. Math can often be a challenge for many students, especially those who still need to grow in their confidence and foundational skills. One of the great advantages to a multi-age classroom is that students work in Math at their ability level, not their grade level. This allows students to both receive the instruction they need to grow and to excel where they are strong. Mrs. Cunningham and Mrs. LaBrie are both excellent teachers who foster a love and excitement for learning Math. Students who enjoy Math continue to excel, and those who have struggled have made tremendous growth. I appreciate how these classes are designed to help students grow in what they need to know to move successfully to the next level in their problems solving and application of Math skills.
When thinking on the purpose of Christian education, we must consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19 to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Christian education invites, nurtures, and empowers students, families, and communities to live out their faith in practical ways that demonstrate God’s love. As a Christian School community, we do life together, learning and working together towards a common goal, celebrating our unity and growing through our differences.
Our core beliefs direct the decisions we make. Committing to Christian education is a costly endeavor, but it is a decision which can positively shape a child for years to come. Over this past year I have been blessed to be a part of the excellent, dynamic education that is going on at BCS. In transitioning from Evergreen to Bellingham Christian this year, I have been so welcomed, encouraged, and I have loved working as a part of this staff. My special thanks to the leadership team of BCS for inviting, nurturing, and empowering Christian education in Whatcom County, and for allowing me to serve on the team this year. This has been an unforgettable year that I will continue to treasure in my heart for years to come as Anna and I continue to live out God’s story for our lives!