Friday, 30 October 2015

Conference Norms

The group norms that our staff created for our professional conversations were used by Edifide to guide professional conversations at their annual convention of Christian educators from across the province of Ontario and beyond. It is nice to be recognized for our good work.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Our Teachers are Great

The teachers at Community Christian School are professionals, who dedicate themselves to provide the best learning opportunities for their students. A definition of a professional is someone who is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform the role of that profession. But, it is more than just that definition. A professional is expected to grow in their knowledge and skill and keep up with the developments within their field. Our teachers are committed to professional and it is something that I appreciate a lot.

This week I witnessed this professional growth. On Monday evening, four teachers had gathered in the Resource Room and they were standing in front of the whiteboard. A discussion was taking place. They were talking about the proper formation of letters when printing. The topics ranged from what is the proper way to form letters, is it important to teach and how much emphasis should be on insisting that students follow the proper technique. There was a sharing of opinions and thoughts. At the end, there were some consensuses. A professional learning event just ended, but it is not the end of the story.

The next day I wandered over to the JK/SK classroom just to say hello to the children. As soon as I entered the room I noticed two students sitting at the table with Mrs. Vanderstoep. The students were writing. When the students explained their work, one of the students demonstrated how to make the “a” in his name. This student was using the technique that was talked about by the teachers the previous evening. Also, there was further evidence of materials used in the classroom that day that help to reinforce proper letter formation. It is at moments like this that my heart leaps for joy. The evidence of a short professional conversation was found in the real life work of a student. Professional learning turned into student actions. Learning is a beautiful thing.

Take some time this week to thank the Lord for our professional teachers and their desire to learn, grow and teach.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Blue Jay Day at Community Christian School

Yesterday, Community Christian School joined the rest of country in celebrating the accomplishments of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Friday, 9 October 2015


Schools are inspiring places. When you walk around a school, you should see the evidence of
student creativity. As I was sitting and staring at this blank page on my computer screen, I was
uninspired. I did not know what to write. At times like this, I begin to wander through the building.
I peek in classrooms, go into classrooms or look at what is on the walls. Within moments,
inspiration can hit you because of the creativity of others. My thoughts this week were inspired by
our JK/SK students.

Just outside of the JK/SK classroom are some beautiful pieces of art. They are the work of small,
creative minds and budding artists. The colours are beautiful. The artists’ interpretations of  themselves are as unique as the person who painted the selfportrait.  I love the shapes and I love their sense of proportion. Their work is beautiful.

Even though, I love and appreciate all of the things I listed above, there is one element that makes
these pieces of work outstanding for me. Each of the artists have expressed a sense of joy. If you
examine their faces, you see smiles. I think this sense of joy radiates from these paintings.

Why is this outstanding? Because through these paintings, we are getting a true, brilliant glimpse of
the Kingdom of God. Each of these students that created a masterpiece are masterpieces themselves. They are bearing the image of God and that shines through their joy and it shines through their creativity. By following their lead, we get at better sense of the way things should be. We are
introduced to shalom. My life and my day is a little better because of their art. Joy and creativity draws me closer to my God and Saviour.

To our JK/SK students, thanks for being masterpieces, for creating beautiful self-portraits and for
being Kingdom workers.

Thursday, 1 October 2015


This year our theme is “Let Your Light Shine.” At our first Friday afternoon closing and prayer, I challenged the students to on the lookout for others who are letting their lights shine and be prepared to share those stories. The sharing of stories is a powerful teaching tool. Jesus often used story to tell His gospel message of what it means to live in the kingdom of God. It is a practical way to spread the example of living in the kingdom.

Since I told the students to be prepared to tell stories, I thought that this week I would share a story of a group of students “Letting their lights shine.” Yesterday, during the lunch recess, a large group of Grade 7 and 8s began to play soccer with a group of younger students. The younger students were a mix of students from Grade 1 to 4. The moment that these older student began to play with the younger students a wonderful things began to happen. The excitement on the playground increased several fold. I heard one young boy exclaim with a mix of surprise and excitement, “I cannot believe that we are doing this!” As the excitement rose and others began to notice what was occurring, others began to join the game. Many of these others were students who sometimes have difficulty interacting with peers. All of a sudden, some who never play soccer were playing soccer.

This was a beautiful moment. The Grade 7 and 8s stepped into a leadership role where they were examples of shining lights. Because they took that step, I saw a different community begin to develop. Certain obstacles to joining or building community were removed. Age, ability, social skills disappeared and what became important was that you were part of this game, this community. Everyone had the opportunity to belong.

Praise the Lord for the act of faithful living that our Grade 7 and 8 students demonstrated and please pray that we will see and hear of many more examples of faithful, light shining, living.