What’s your role at Traverse City Christian School?
I am the First Grade teacher.
What do you love about TC Christian?
I am a person who operates directly from the heart. My family always teases me saying that I cry every day. Often, I do. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I laugh (which I do a lot), I cry when others cry. I get all of the ‘feels’! I love TC Christian because of the’ feels’. I feel JESUS here. I feel loved here. I feel supported here. I feel good about myself here. I feel like it’s okay to be different. I feel like it’s okay to have imperfections. I know that our students feel those things, too.
What motivated you to join the team at TC Christian?
I decided to apply for a position at TC Christian because my job in a public school required me to remove Jesus from my daily routine. I was often required to teach and accept things that directly opposed God’s Word. I was beginning to let my job take precedence over my faith. I knew that I needed a change and I knew that the environment at TC Christian school would allow me serve Him and His Kingdom and in so doing, allow me to spend more time with Him.
How do you incorporate a Christian Worldview in your work at TCCS?
We pray several times throughout our day. We study the Bible as one of our core subjects. We attend Chapel services twice a week. I also turn to the Bible for support with classroom management and problem solving. Beyond that, students at TC Christian learn (through example) to ask questions and make connections to the Bible in all subject areas. For example, recently our class was talking about parts of animals during our Science lesson. I displayed a picture of a lion fish. Instead of just asking, “Why might this animal have spikes?”, I asked, “Why might God have created this animal with spikes?” Questions like that point us to God and His Creation, which helps make sense of big ideas. We have also been studying about government leadership in Social Studies. We took the time to read what the Bible has to say about praying for our leaders in 1 Timothy 2. Then we prayed for our leaders!
What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your role to help shape the experience of students and their families?
My degree is in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education. Because of this, I tend to incorporate early childhood principles into my teaching. In our classroom; we learn and use sign language, and kids are allowed to learn through play and exploration. They are given choices instead of always being told what to do. Kids are encouraged to learn independence. I also have a background in music, theater, and dance. I love to incorporate these things in my classroom.
What sets TC Christian students apart from students in other schools?
At TCCS, we can help develop the whole child. We are able to focus on academics along with spiritual and social/emotional growth. Students learn about reading, writing, math, etc., AND how to love Jesus and others. You can’t beat that! I also love our smaller class sizes. This gives our school more of a family feeling. As a teacher, this allows me to differentiate and individualize daily for each student in my class.
A TC Christian tagline is “Live Loved”. How do you accomplish this in your role at TCCS?
I’m blessed to be surrounded by co-workers who love Jesus and love me. They are constantly encouraging me and reminding me of who I am in Christ. They are a light in my life. I believe that this light pours out onto my students. Each day, I pray for the strength, knowledge, and courage to be the kind of teacher that I wanted/needed when I was a student.
What do you want students to gain from having known you?
I want my students to leave First Grade with a lot of feelings and knowledge: feeling and knowing who they are in Christ; feeling and knowing they are loved; feeling and knowing that through Christ they are beautiful and capable. I want them to believe!