Encourage One Another

One of the many privileges of serving as Head of School at BRCS is visiting our teachers and students in their classrooms.  Whether these visits are just a brief check in with a teacher, an extended time to get a glimpse of the curriculum in action, or as part of a teacher evaluation, each time I am encouraged.  Our teachers are gifted professionals who know their craft well. They also are skilled at creating and sustaining a strong sense of community in their classrooms.  I see it every day.
Let me give you an example of what intentional community in a BRCS classroom looks like.  This week, I visited Ms. Angela Stoltzfus’s second graders as they studied a Bible lesson on using self-control to guard our words.  Ms. S. and the students used toothpaste as an object lesson – once toothpaste is squeezed out, it’s nearly impossible to put it back in the tube; so it is with our words.  (Second grade parents, if your child arrived home smelling faintly of peppermint on Thursday, now you know why!)  They enjoyed a picture book in which the main character learns to measure his words and extend compassion to others.  They read and discussed three Bible verses that teach the power of the tongue and the importance of building others up with our words.
Ms. S. ended her lesson by leading her students in a “compliment circle.”  This is a new routine for the class, and their enthusiasm was contagious, so of course I had to join them on the carpet.  Ms. S. called on students to remind us of the guidelines:  compliment the person to your left; use his or her name; make eye contact; say thank you; and focus compliments on the person’s character and actions.
I wish you could have heard the way those dear children spoke and received life-giving words.  It was heartfelt and precious.  They gave compliments about a classmate’s friendliness, willingness to help others, creativity, and kindness to others.  A sweet young lady complimented me on being “a good principal.”  I’ll hang on to that affirmation all year!
What took place in Ms. S’s class this week is replicated all over BRCS, every day.  Every one of our teachers is committed to helping students grow as image-bearers of God.  Embracing fellowship in community is part of God’s call on all believers.  Our children are getting lots of wonderful practice in fellowship.