Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Helping Students Learn

Does the learning of LCES students today look the same as your recollection of your elementary school years?

I’ve noticed in my career as an educator that things in schools are constantly changing. This happens as we understand more about how students learn, how their brain and body work together as they explore God’s world, how technology and culture shape them, and how the social nature of a school learning environment both helps and challenges them. We dedicate ourselves to figuring out which learning methods work best for each student. Even the basic recognition that all of our students learn differently is a very different starting point than the education that typified many of their great-grandparents.

Learning happens in a relational context. An excellent example of this is easily noted by observing our Educational Assistants. We are grateful to have three of them (Ms. Bruinsma, Ms. Dykstra, Ms. Moniz) whose presence in our building affirms what we think about learning. They move throughout the entire school connecting with nearly every grade in some way. They are an extra set of hands to help with many tasks, but they do much more than that. Sometimes they are working with one student, other times with a small group, or perhaps the entire class. In some cases they have relationships that span many years, and as result have a wider understanding of students as learners than the current teacher since they move from one grade to the next. This enables them to watch the learning tasks and goals of the classroom and adapt, substitute, or extend them meaningfully for students who need something else. They can expand the variety of learning methods available to achieve the same understanding for all our students. Their presence in classrooms gives direction and affirmation to all of our learners.

I’m thankful for an educational home for our students that continues to adapt in order to create opportunities for great learning with the resources it has available. Join me in praying for wisdom in that pursuit as we aim “to educate children, equipping them for a life of faithful, Christian discipleship.”


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