July 15, 2015
Teachers Talk - Currency - Are We Truthful Or Do We Speak Another Language?
Teresa Ferreira, Principal, Coralwood Adventist Academy, Edmonton, AB

Our message is simple – choose a relationship with Jesus over a relationship with the world – but a student’s currency is the language by which we get the opportunity to convey this message.

The buzz word currency has defined a student’s language in education for a long time. In discussion with my elementary teachers at Coralwood Adventist Academy, a comment was stated, “If you want the key to classroom management or student-teacher relationship or engaging student learning, then simply find the student’s individual currency.”
 
What a nifty little word! Very simply put, it’s the language of the student with whom you’re dealing. A currency for a student one year, however, may be completely different the next. It is fully within the student’s rights to grow, change, develop and exert their autonomy. But as educators in a 21st century world with an end-time message, teaching to multi-tasking spider-web-brained children, we better learn their language or rather, their currency.
 
Stewardship is an important word in the Christian walk – whether it’s stewardship with God’s money or the talents and blessings He’s given. Enhancing and refocusing our schools is vital to the growth and direction God would have Adventist Education to develop.
 
In speaking with one of my Practicum Student Teachers from Burman University after our IT Meeting on April 10, I expressed how every conversation we have is for one sole purpose – the training and salvation of our students. If we’re speaking about increasing our technology, starting a witnessing gymnastics team, developing a music program, hiring a Religion teacher, or implementing an intramural sports programming, then we’re speaking about currency that speaks the language of the student today. Our message is simple – choose a relationship with Jesus over a relationship with the world – but a student’s currency is the language by which we get the opportunity to convey this message.
 
By enhancing and planning for spiritual, academic, physical, social and technological growth, we plan for a future where students come in contact with “Distinctly Adventist Education” in a “Uniquely Christian Environment.” Can we put a price on this? Why, this is God’s concern! When we are good stewards with our resources – money and children – the rest is in His hands. Bringing our kids to Adventist Education (of which I believe there’s no other choice in today’s world of compromise) is simply ‘Priceless.’
 
Yet, everyday students choose other education systems to learn from, and everyday we make our classrooms a little more 21st century-skilled savvy, a little more differentiated, a little more inclusive, a little more accredited, a little more prepared, a little more extracurricular programming; are we chasing the public school’s tail? One hundred and fifty or more years ago, we were appointed to be cutting edge, to be in the lead, to be ‘Daniel and his three friends,’ to be divinely-ordained to serve in the education of the young. Is this still our mission?
 
When we start revolving our advent educational message around one Pharaoh-ic individual, one legacy,  one organization, or one church, instead of the child, then we forget our true mission of being the training ground to develop evangelistic ambassadors for our God.
 
The most important work for our educational institutions to do at this time is to set before the world an example that will honor God. Holy angels through human agencies are to supervise the work, and every department is to bear the mark of divine excellence. Let the word of God be made the chief book of study, that the students may learn to live by every word that Christ has given. (SpM 433.1) (emphasis added)
 
We must establish a system or school of excellence that surpasses any superintendent, principal, teacher, school board chair, or mandate is difficult but worth the mission and message of Adventist Education.
 
Remember, every student’s currency is TRUTH – are we truthful and honorable to the mission of Adventist Education that was set before us by our God – because believe it or not, they know the difference!