July 1, 2012
Teachers Talk - Reflections
Janet Griffith, Superintendent, Alberta Conference, Lacombe, AB

Here it is . . . the end of another school year! So how many years is that for you-- one or thirty-one or more? No matter if you are a new teacher this year or a seasoned teacher ready to retire, God has been good this school year.

As we reflect upon the just finished school year, we need also to look forward to the next school year and the many exciting things that will happen with and for our students and staff. So what has your school year looked like? For me, it was a year of many changes, a steep learning curve, on-the-job training, many rewards and a few challenges. Since our Conference Office burned one year ago, we have moved three times! Just try and maintain “business as usual” when your office space is in constant flux! Being in a new position, too, has added to the steep learning curve. This year our office has taken on the project of having each teacher
formally evaluated sometime during the year. Praise the Lord, we have accomplished that! New professional benchmarks have been set and teachers are now expected to maintain or rise above the benchmarks they have set for themselves.

The stories that have come from schools about students giving their hearts to Jesus, being baptized, and taking Bible studies in preparation for baptism are heart-warming. This is what Adventist Education is all about! About discipling children for Jesus. How about the story of a student coming to the local church school just because his friend is there! Or the family that moved into the area from another part of Canada just to have their children in an SDA school. Then there are the students who want to come back the next year even if their school doesn’t offer the next grade. These stories tell me that teachers are making school a wonderful place to
be.

I recently attended some government meetings and came away realizing how wonderful a school system we have. We are so blessed to be a part of a global education system! It is always good to have a reality check once in a while and mingle with other Christian schools just to remind us that we have wonderful teachers and a great system to work in.

As we look to the future, we can only anticipate the wonderful things God has in store for us. More students being baptized, increased enrolment, building expansion projects, additional course offerings, meaningful professional development, and all the exciting stories that come with these wonderful events.

As we plan for next year, let’s remember the following familiar passage: “In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history”--Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 196 (1902).