June 1, 2013
Teachers Talk - Let not your heart be troubled
Norva St. Bryce, Teacher, Greaves Adventist Academy, Montreal, QC

I own a VHS tape that features a great Baptist Minister Tony Campolo, who is also a sociologist and professor. On this tape he reminisces about an experience during a Week- of- Prayer on a school campus.  He recalls a woman who came to the meeting informing him that God had sent her with her son for his healing.
 
Dr. Campolo said that he was not quite sure what he needed to do.  So apparent was his bewilderment, the Chaplain of the campus came to him and said, “When you do not know what to do, go to the book”. The chaplain went on to quote what steps the Bible outlines for healing to take place. Dr. Campolo said that he gained respect for that Chaplain, because this is about the best advice you can give or receive. When in doubt go to the book! It shows that God is always prepared ahead of you.
 
I am not of the I-generation, nor do I own anything that begins with this letter/word (iPhone, iPad etc.)  As a matter of fact my Education Superintendent was genuinely shocked when I informed him that I did not own a cell phone.  Many readers may react as he did, which was “WHAT!”   While I am not tech savvy I do own a laptop which I was forced to obtain while I went back to school for my B.Ed. degree.
 
On several occasions I felt that I was doing my students a disservice by not being up to date with technology, and this was confirmed, when the students, after filling out their surveys for our school evaluation, were heard talking about the things that they liked and those that they wished they had. They mentioned that they did not get enough technology. This saddened me and I vowed that I would do something about it.  I was a bit bewildered as to where to begin, then I remembered the advice “Go to the book”, and I sent up a prayer.
 
As fate or faith would have it, I was sent via email, the online courses that AVLN was offering for that year. “Integrating Technology with Pathways” was one of them. I was fortunate to have this course approved and paid for by my school. Being a full-time teacher, with a class of over 30 students it was a challenge. However I knew it was for their betterment. I was even given the opportunity to involve my students in some of my assignments. They were more than willing to help ‘Miss’ with her homework.
 
I have learnt many things and I have begun implementing them in the classroom. Some of the things that we have begun using are Raz-Kids and Spelling City which were highly recommended by other teachers participating in the course. My students love me; they think that I am so cool for having them actually spend time on the computer on a school night! 
 
Another tool that I have had opportunity to use in my classroom is the online tool of Skype. Although it was not under the circumstances of being hooked up to someone in some remote and exotic place, it has come in handy in a very practical way.  One of my Grade 5 students had to leave school for a major operation on his legs.  He was very sad that he would have to miss so much school, and his mother was also quite concerned that he would have to repeat the year Although she said that she would come in and pick up his work we both knew that while a noble gesture it would be a stretch for him to keep up with the class. 
 
Our God is a great God; He does answer prayers, and prepares the answers in advance. I called my student once he was out of the hospital and at home. It was during this call that the Lord impressed upon me to ask the young man if he had a Skype account. Although he did not, one was quickly opened for him when I explained my intentions. For the duration of time between his operation and his going back to do physiotherapy at the hospital my class logged on the computer every morning and signed into Skype and he attended class.
 
While this may seem like a simple story there are elements in it that I am truly thankful to God for. Firstly, never be afraid to try or learn new things because God is there to help. Secondly, God is always prepared ahead of us when he sends us a mission. Just as with Tony Campolo, who had a chaplain to help him, He already had a class in the works for me to take once he impressed me to become more competent in technology. Lastly, I need to get my VHS into a DVD.
 
We serve a mighty God, Let not your heart be troubled. God has already prepared a way for us in whatever tasks He has laid out in our future.