Here in the global offices of TeachBeyond, we spend a lot of time thinking about, discussing, and seeking to find ways to implement practices that will help foster transformational education in the classrooms, schools and communities in which our teachers serve. We are constantly reflecting on how we can support our members to live out this critical element of TeachBeyond’s mission.
As the school year draws to an end, we want to encourage you to engage in some reflection of your own. Here are some questions to prime the pump. We’d love to hear feedback from you as you reflect on this. Drop us a line at email@example.com.
As you reflect back over this past school year, how have you seen the Holy Spirit directing you in regards to the three elements of the TB vision prayer: serving the Father’s world, loving Jesus, and seeing individuals & societies transformed by the Holy Spirit?
- As agents of transformation, we ourselves must be transformed. What are some personal transformations that God has done in you during your journey with Him? How have these affected your classroom practices? Are there thoughts, attitudes, and/or behaviors that God wants to transform in your life? What is a next step in that process?
- How has your understanding of transformational education developed over the course of your service with TeachBeyond? What are some next steps you can take to continue deepening your understanding of this concept? How will you practically apply what you’ve learned to your ministry assignment?
- Transformational education looks different in different contexts. What are some of the key elements that remain the same regardless of cultural contexts? How do you see these elements lived out in your particular context? What are some of the challenges you face? How are you addressing these challenges?
- When was the last time you looked at the TeachBeyond Distinctive Characteristics? Which of these have you embodied in your ministry? Which might you like to grow in?
- What has it looked like in your context to live and teach from a Biblically integrated worldview? What areas would you like to invite the Holy Spirit to transform in you and align more closely to His perspective? What are some of the challenges you are likely to face in this process?
If you are looking for some resources to challenge your thinking about transformational education this summer, here are a few suggestions from our TeachBeyond global staff.
- What If Learning: “What if Learning is a ‘distinctively Christian’ approach developed by an international partnership of teachers… Its aim is to equip teachers to develop their distinctively Christian teaching and learning strategies for their own classrooms.” This approach is appropriate for Christian teachers in all types of schools.–Helen Vaughan, School Services
- Fostering a Reflective Culture in the Christian School (John Van Dyck): This book is written in story form to encourage Christian school staff to think together about foundational principles, reflect in the midst of daily activity, and then carefully process everything after it happens. A reflective culture helps everyone actually put into practice the principles that are often only talked about. –Harold Klassen, Teacher Education Services
- The Courage to Teach (Parker Palmer): It’s probably dated, but still good stuff. It’s about integrity, authentic living and being, connectedness, and… I don’t know what else to say. Palmer put words to what I knew but couldn’t verbalise about teaching being so much more than good techniques.—Pam Sanderlin, Communications
- Teaching and the Christian Imagination (David I. Smith and Susan M. Felch): What happens if you “re-imagine” the classroom and learning? How might this help you to better understand education in light of the gospel message? These and other questions are addressed in this very thought provoking book. Though it isn’t a difficult read, this is a book you’ll want to take your time with as it challenges you to rethink everything you thought you knew about classroom metaphors. -Becky Hunsberger, Teacher Education Services
 These were initially developed for TeachBeyond New Member Orientation to help those starting their time on the field connect their own personal call to the mission and vision of TeachBeyond. We’ve adapted them here for those of you already serving in the classroom.