Long story short, I wasn't looking for a teaching position. My
desire was to enter youth ministry, but after 6 months of searching,
applying, and finding no leads, I caved to a tip that Mountain Christian
Church had several openings in their school. I blindly walked into the
school office in the month of July, motivated by an announcement that
was published back in March, and asked the secretary if there were still
any available teaching positions. She double-checked her records and
said all openings were filled...except they still needed a middle school
social studies teacher. This was precisely the area in which I am
certified. I applied, interviewed, and was hired within two days.
Unlike other job opportunities that I had pursued more fervently, God
made it abundantly clear that this was where he wanted me.
Teaching at a private Christian school allows me to put Christ at the
center of my instruction; Biblical principles are incorporated into
everything I teach. I have the opportunity to minister to students, as
I originally intended with youth ministry, only in a different, more
Surprisingly, I really like working with the middle school age group.
The kids are old enough to engage in mature discussion and debate but
they are not so old that they are "too cool for school" yet. Every day
is an adventure as I discover what motivates middle school students to
learn. Every day they find a new way to make me laugh because they are
Also...and this is probably
why Mrs. Snyder recommended me for an alumnus profile...I am working on
developing a student travel program for my school. Never expected I would
say that, but having the opportunity to travel the world and explore
foreign cultures with my students is extremely gratifying. The story is
that I won a sweepstakes through the Discovery Channel last year and went
with their staff to Costa Rica in November, 5 days, all expenses paid.
This trip, accompanied with some professional development, has equipped
me to lead student groups. We are working on a bus tour to Washington
D.C. this year and a trip to Costa Rica in summer 2014.
Working at a private school has meant not only teaching but also
developing the curriculum for the 3-4 subjects that I teach. It is a
monumental task, demanding about 14 hours a day in my first year.
Student teaching was stressful and challenging, but nothing could have
prepared me for this!
Grove City College prepared me with rock-solid methods, but it also went
into depth with the philosophy of education. This has been valuable for
me as I prepare lessons and activities, purposefully engaging students
in multiple levels of critical thinking. It has also been valuable for
my school at large because when we discuss policy changes in faculty
meetings, I am more alert to the unintended consequences of our actions
a plan to carve out some quiet time with God every day and pray for your
students regularly. If you are not intentional about these things, they
will be lost as you get consumed in the many responsibilities/facets of
Do not limit yourself geographically, but also know the culture of the
area in which you teach.