We are two months into the school year and already news headlines acknowledge that teachers, perhaps more than ever before, are vulnerable to the strain of a never-ending workload. Providing off-site and on-site learning is not something schools are resourced to do; consequently, as a large-scale, long-term commitment, teachers around the world are legitimately grappling with how to sustain and balance professional and personal priorities.
On the one hand, JKCS staff and teachers are fortified by prayer and by their love for our students and families. The blessing and mystery of walking with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is creating an opportunity to look at our context through a big-picture lens. We’ve been called to participate in the unfolding story of humankind, and at this moment in history to find our place and play our part in the bigger design of God’s grand narrative which is all about love, redemption, restoration and testimony.
In the context of our testimonies about God’s enduring love, we are also called to care for each other in tangible ways, and to recognize that even within our very blessed community, the COVID-19 context requires a consistent commitment to some unique practices. We are collectively investing in these measures of care:
When our JKCS families, students and staff follow health-check guidelines, wait in a COVID-19 testing line, and stay home until results are received and symptoms of all types of illness are gone;
When we sincerely pray for each other and invite God to lead us and to partner with us as we navigate our unique and common challenges;
When our students, grade 5-12, respectfully wear their masks for entire school days and help staff through the processes of frequently disinfecting surfaces;
When, if an issue arises, parents invest the extra effort it takes to talk to us, recognizing that additional communication challenges are created with the loss of face to face interactions between parents and teachers and parents and administrators.
Without doubt the list could go on, but its shortened version reminds us that as one body with many parts it is our personal commitment to small things that is strengthening the resilience of our community in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our on-site safety practices are now well-rehearsed, comfortable routines. We are eager to welcome our transitional off-site students back into their classrooms and prepared to continue providing off-site instructional platforms for home-bound students.
Sometimes we are shaken by difficulties in this world, but on balance we are encouraged because God has promised to renew the whole world. Be heartened, knowing this Christ-following community desires to humbly and carefully embody God’s big-picture priorities of love, redemption and restoration.
Wendy Perttula, Director of Curriculum