When I was growing up, the small town I lived in had one parochial school, and it was open only to members of the Baptist community. As I didn’t grow up as a Baptist, that school was never a thought. In fact, no parochial school was ever a thought. My family went to public school, and there was never a question asked. So now that I teach at Concordia, I often have to ask the same questions, many times over: “Why do you want to teach there? Why not a public school where you’ll make more money?” Well, money is nice, and it’s good to have, especially this time of year, with the Christmas holiday looming, but there is more to teaching than just money.
One of the reasons I find myself telling others for my teaching at Concordia, rather than in a public school district, is that here, I can share my faith. And here, I can grow my faith.
You see, while Christianity is getting torn apart in other venues (and if you don’t believe, me, just watch the news on practically any channel. The name of the Lord is persona non grata in the secular world!), here at Concordia we get to build each other up in our Christian faith. Teachers help their students to know the word of God, and students help teachers to know that same word.
Even in my U.S. History classes, we reference the Bible; in our Koinonia groups, we are constantly in the Bible; in the hallways at lunch you’ll even find some students with their Bibles, just delving in for some words of wisdom (possibly before a test, but I like to think it’s just because they need to find some of God’s words to build them up).
The second reason I find myself giving for teaching at Concordia is simple: it’s home. You see, when I was in public school growing up, school was school. That’s it. There was no feeling of community for me. There was no connection to my school. It was just a building with 1,600 other kids. But Concordia is different. Concordia is a family of believers who are all in this together.
So could I teach somewhere else? Sure, I could. But why would I want to give up the family of Christian supporters who encourage me daily? Instead, maybe we should be asking others why they don’t teach here, and give them some encouragement to look to parochial schools for the true riches they could earn.
Social Studies Teacher