2014 School Theme: Strong and Courageous

This year's school theme is Strong and Courageous, from Joshua 1:9. Over the past couple of weeks, the staff has been discussing what this looks like within the context of our community. What does it mean to be "strong and courageous" as a student in preschool, grade school, junior high, or high school? Administrator Tim Visser shares his thoughts below.

In reflecting on what I wanted to communicate to the student body last week, I kept coming back to the idea of being strong and courageous because we have hope rooted in the sovereignty of our God. That all sounds well and good, but it means nothing unless we act on that hope.

Carol Dweck's Mindset was recommended to me a couple of days ago. I have not heard of the book and needed to do a bit of research before investing time into it. In that reseach, I stumbled on this blog that looks at building an attitude of hope in a student when confronted with challenges.

"Response: Classroom Strategies to Foster a Growth Mindset," by Larry Ferlazzo.

I encourage you to take a look at helping to create a platform of hope as a launching pad to learning. There are a number of resources and links to other resources. Scrolling down a bit, llynwalton writes a comment to the blog post:

I think kids won't change their mindset in an environment void of caring and kindness. They have to feel, and believe, that a change in thinking will produce a change in results, and that their teacher will notice, care, and value their journey. Learning is a partnership, and valuing students for who and where they are at the introduction, and celebrating their growth (meaningfully, not based on something as dry and impersonal as standardized test scores) while they are a learner in your classroom (and beyond if the teacher is so fortunate) until the time of departure gives purpose to the work of teaching.

The Israelites experienced God's caring and kindness for the 40 years. They knew that, but the tone changes with being strong and courageous. God wants them to change their attitude from being cared for to acting on the hope He offers. Be strong and courageous because I am on this journey with you. It doesn't mean it will always be easy and the Israelites made their share of mistakes, but they always had the opportunity to recover. Hope was always a part of their learning process. I encourage you to make it an intentional part of our journey together this year.