It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, but I just need to tonight. So, I’ve been thinking a lot this week as I prepare my testimony to share with the Tea Time Girls here at Alma. All of that thinking led me to this thought: God is SO good at curriculum alignment. Hear me out, okay?
God is so good at curriculum alignment. See for teachers, we love to use that term. Basically it just means that everything matches. Our goals, our lessons, and our assessments all line up. If our goal is to teach phonics, our lessons are about phonics, and our assessments are about those lessons and whether or not we met that phonics goal. God is the best teacher, so of course He is super at curriculum alignment in our lives.
See, it has three parts right? First, the goals. God has amazing and wonderful goals and purpose for our lives. He wants to see us reach these huge goals and there’s standards that go along with them. Those standards don’t change for anyone, but the way we reach them might, or the help we need getting there might. Those goals sometimes feel enormous. I ask myself a lot, are You sure God? Is this really what You have planned for someone like me? But He does! The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God says He has plans for us! Plans to prosper us, plans to give us a future. So yeah, God isn’t afraid of having high expectations (and you shouldn’t be afraid of attaining them–He’s got a plan to get you there).
So then there’s lessons. God equips is with the skills, passions, and dreams we need to reach those goals and plans He has for us. But sometimes we face experiences that don’t seem to line up or we make choices to go against it. We don’t do our homework, if you will. We skip class. We think we already have the answers. But God, being the amazing teacher He is, sticks with us. He intervenes where we need it. See teachers in the state of Michigan are required to complete English Language Arts intervention with different tiers of students. I love this time with my students! I see so much growth in those intervention periods, and it’s a place where I get to instill a growth mindset, renew passion, and personalize instruction for my kiddos. God loves this too! But if He’s not intervening, sometimes that means He’s scaffolding. In education that means providing the necessary supports students need within their zone of proximal development, a fancy way to describe the space between what students can’t do at all, and what they can do independently. It’s like riding a bike, first the training wheels come off, then mom or dad runs behind you until you’re off on your own. God is so good at scaffolding, at coming in and using our experiences and our needs and our passions to help us operate within that zone.
And then there’s the last part. The scary part. Assessment. See, I’ve got a problem with the idea of assessment. Assessment gets a bad reputation because it seems like a big test, it seems like were boxing kids into numbers on a sheet, but that’s not true. We assess kids all the time. It’s just a way of describing how we figure out where kids are. Evaluation on the other hand, adds a value judgement to that. Evaluation is something Satan loves to do. He loves to come in and interpret our assessments for us, to say we’ve failed trials, to say we’ve blown our chances at this amazing plan God has for our lives. But God is a great assessor. He sees where our needs are, he sees our weaknesses, our faults and failures, and He meets us where we are. He reflects on our lessons and He adapts the next ones so we can reach those goals because He loves us so much.
God is so good at curriculum alignment. He is the best teacher. And as I write my testimony, as I search for a framework to organize all the lessons, passions, and assessments I’ve had in my life, it’s no wonder He would give me an educators planning guide to use. He gave me this teachers heart, He has goals for it, and I’m not afraid of the assessments because in the end, I know God will meet me where I am. This isn’t a standardized test, because Jesus already reformed education in the Kingdom. The standards haven’t changed, but God in all his mercy and with all His love, has bridged that achievement gap for me. God as the teacher is the advocate, He is the one who takes the “whole child approach” and cares for my safety, my heart, my health. He’s creative and passionate and feeds my curiosity and joy at learning and growing, and I am so thankful for this beautiful model of what an educator should be.
May you take time this week to consider the alignment plan God has for your life, and may you walk in confidence knowing His plans are good.
All my love,