It has always been my heartfelt desire to explain our high calling as a teacher and I often come up short for lack of clarity, but I no longer need to be concerned. Donovan L. Graham has eloquently simplified this most important topic – Being a Christian Educator in our public schools. I know I don’t have to tell you how difficult it is to live out our faith while our society is increasingly antagonistic to the mention of God or religion in the public arena. However, we still need to be the best educators because we work for the Lord. I was immediately drawn to the book because in his dedication he mentioned his wife, Wilma “and all teachers who sacrifice themselves to be a picture of Jesus to their students.” Mr. Graham fully understands the immensity of the topic and gives us tangible and clear guidelines for implementation of our call in life. He even has a section by our very own Finn Laursen, who recently made a short video after he completed the book and I was so inspired that I began reading right away. (The video is on the front page of the CEAI website as of today.)
Without giving away too much of Mr. Graham’s content, I love how he has five themes running throughout the book: Relationships, Grace, Bearing the image of God, Intimacy with God – care of the teacher’s soul and “We Can’t Go It Alone.” These five themes go hand-in-hand with the 16-9 Movement (please read the first post for details) because it teachers us to know the law and live a life of grace. What I love is his call for community. “We Can’t Go It Alone!” You are not alone and I will do my best to gather us together and give us opportunities to communicate, share, encourage and uplift each other.
One of the ways I would love to begin community building with Christian Educators is to do a book study with “Making a Difference” by Donovan L. Graham. This is how I picture it happening. Purchase a copy of “Making a Difference” and then join our PLN – Professional Learning Netwok (I’ll send you the details if you are really interested). In our private social network, we will set a schedule for reading the book together in a Book Club format. We will have posts in our PLN that will work as a discussion board and then we will meet by webinar once a month until we complete the book. Can you imagine the encouragement of like minds digging deeper into this most excellent book? I bet we could even get Donovan to agree to meet with us in one of our webinars!
Finally, for those of you that are really interested, the first three people who post a comment to this blog entry, I will purchase a copy for you! Even if you don’t have time to read it with us in Book Club style, please consider it as a must read before the school year is over. It will change the way you teach!