Caring for a garden requires a lot of hard work, some trial and error, and tons of patience. As you work with your students throughout the year, various needs will present themselves to you. Pray that God helps you to see those needs and guides you in ways that will help those needs to be met so that your student will continue to grow.

  • Some needs will be academic. In what ways can you provide differentiation for your learners? Speak to your Student Support Services within your school staff in order to receive advice and guidance.
  • Other needs will be more on the social-emotional level. Work to provide a “safe-to” space in your classroom – safe to try, safe to fail, safe to make a mistake, safe to try again. Responsive classroom protocols go a long way to developing a classroom culture where students feel heard and seen. Morning circles, talking pieces, question-of-the-day, and a closing circle are just a few examples of protocols that will begin to build a healthy social-emotional atmosphere in your classroom. If you have students that seem to be struggling socially-emotionally, don’t hesitate to reach out to your school’s Guidance Counselor. It is important that we use the available resources that we have for the betterment of our students.
  • Spiritual needs and faith formation is the need of each one of our students. Every plant needs sun and water to grow and thrive. Jesus is the light of the world and we are His reflectors. Reflect God’s love to your students in all things, help them to see God’s light. Pour into your students God’s love. Extend mercy and grace, a gentle touch and a word spoken out of God’s love and forgiveness. Show them the beauty of God that surrounds us in His creation. How blessed are we as Christian educators to be able to enfold all that we say and do in the classroom with God’s love!

Ensure that the Christian education your students are receiving goes far beyond Bible class and devotions. Help your students see God in all things and in every aspect of their lives. Continue to water, prune, weed, and trim the beautiful “plants” in your garden and pray that God will bless the work of your hands.

Colossians 3:23 (NIV) “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Stacy Kok is a Senior Kindergarten teacher and Teaching for Transformation early adopter at Cairn Christian School in Stoney Creek, Ontario. Stacy is originally from Tennessee, USA and moved to Ontario, Canada in 1999, after teaching at a missionary school in Indonesia. While teaching in Indonesia, Stacy met her future husband who is originally from Grimsby, Ontario. Both Stacy and her husband spent a total of 5 years teaching in Indonesia before moving to Toronto. Stacy took time away from classroom teaching and devoted her time and energy to their 4 children. Seven years ago, Stacy returned to the classroom after serving 4 years on staff at her church as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator. Over the past 7 years, Stacy has had her teaching degree from Tennessee transferred to the OTC and has also received her Christian School Teacher’s Certificate. Stacy is currently enrolled as a part-time student with the Institute of Christian Studies in the Master of Arts (Philosophy) in Educational Leadership.