The Journey to Finals
Recently, I was privileged to witness a teacher guide a student to consider all work in the class as a place for growth and learning. This teacher emphasized the importance of academic integrity in the smallest of assignments by reminding him of the verse in Luke: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.” She went on to explain how, when we show integrity in the smallest of decisions, we are blessed to be allowed to be stewards of much.
There is a lot of pressure students face to achieve an end result—a mark that signifies how well they learned the material in the class. It is easy for all of us—parents, students, teachers—to focus solely on that mark, as this mark impacts many factors in a student’s future. However, it's important to walk the journey to the end mark and to respect that journey as the true area of importance.
As finals approach, there’s a flurry of activity: turning in missing work, begging for extra credit, and calculating what final exam score is needed to maintain a solid grade for the class. I would encourage all of us in these final days of the semester to remind ourselves as to why a school exists. CA is not meant to be a factory outputting carbon copy Beacons with a stamped grade in hand. We exist to help students to approach the world with the mindset of Alice: curiouser and curiouser. To approach the wonder of God’s creation with awe, with curiosity, with a critical eye to see how he intricately designed all things. To hold even a small thing as the wondrous creation it is, whether the etymology of a word, the structure of an atom, the complexities of political policies, or the beauty of a well-chosen word in a poem.
It is easy to lose this when our focus is simply on the end, the mark. As we near the end, I challenge students to peer into the work they’ve had the opportunity to study. To wrestle with it, to turn it around, to allow the material to strike against the passions embedded deep in us that God has designed to be sparked. To be faithful in what we’ve been given.