Notes from a Teacher’s Journal

by Kate Weise, TCS Grammar School teacher

I have a dream. Actually, I have a lot of little dreams. Sixteen of them, sitting across from me every Monday and Wednesday. Sixteen small image-bearers with unique giftings and challenges. Sixteen pictures of the future.

I have a dream for our school and our city and these children. I dream that we will take to heart Christ’s command to love other people in whatever mundane or exciting way he wishes. That we will read the gospels and the letters as teaching to be obeyed. Jesus said the two greatest commandments are to love God and love other people. In education, we learn to love God with our minds, to discipline our brains to think Christianly, and to position ourselves to be used by God in the kingdom that’s already here—and yet still coming.

As a school, we are

  •         educating children to become lifelong learners.
  •         teaching them to try hard things.
  •         asking them to understand their context in history.
  •         giving them the tools to break down and build good arguments.
  •         helping them learn to communicate effectively both in public and through writing
  •         hiding God’s words in their hearts

Your children are privileged and positioned in a setting that—by the grace of God—when they grow up, allows them to have the power to do much good. Your children will have a quality education. They will have connections. They will have big ​goals​ and the capacity to carry them out because of their education.

​They also have an unprecedented opportunity to enrich our lives through interactions with people from all walks of life because we live in a globalized world in a big city in the 21st century.

Just imagine. You hear this all the time, but we live in one of the most diverse cities in America. We also live in one of the most economically segregated. But there are opportunities all across our city for our children to have their perspectives widened and their lives rounded by interacting with other cultures, other ethnicities, other socio-economic levels, other religions.

Sit a while and dream with me. Dream of a Houston you’d be proud to call your home. What does it look like? What are the characteristics of the people in the city? What does the church look like? What adjectives would you use to describe this Houston?

And then, think: how can we be a part of Christ’s work of reconciliation in our city?

I just want to remind all of us to consider this work of loving other people as a significant part of our work of educating these children.  In the classroom of our lives, their views of what’s important, who defines success, and how to relate to other people are being shaped.

I teach second graders. They are already forming ideas of success and the good life and how the world works. These are the future citizens of Houston. These little men and women will form the backbone of our society. They will shape the culture of our city whether they mean to or not.

And I dare to dream that they will resist the siren calls of the world because I know this to be true: the Kingdom of Heaven is breaking through the torn fabric of this world, and they’ve been invited by the King to join his ranks. But it won’t be an easy fight. They’ll be members of a resistance movement that those in power don’t like. They’ll be following the Servant King, not the Dominating King. Winning everything will look like losing everything.  Life will look like death. True Sanity will look like utter craziness. Will they play a role in being instruments of love and mercy and justice and wisdom and beauty in our city? I pray so. I hope so.

May God give these children a vision for being culture makers in our city–at whatever personal cost to themselves. God give them a vision for following Christ, who though he was equal with God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing. Why? Why? For love.

When graduation day comes, and the last chapter closes on Rhetoric school, I pray that their hearts would be consumed by the love Christ has for them, so consumed that they would count their classical education as valuable only so far as they can use it to lay their lives down to love people as he did.