A school’s true mission is its lived mission.
As educational institutions, who in their very names identify themselves as Christian, conversations about formation, spirituality, and deeper learning practices can very quickly mirror similar conversations that are being had at church and in homes about what is important. It is not a stretch to imagine being drawn into conversations with colleagues and parents who suggest that it is chapel, prayer, and Bible class that make the school a ‘Christian’ school. While significant parts of a school experience, chapels, prayers, and Bible classes are not what makes schools inherently Christian.
Deeper Learning invites Christian educators and students to view themselves differently in the learning process. It invites schools to view practices and people holistically, and, therefore, more in line with the gospel. It is the aim of each element of the learning experience that invites schools into a faithful way of being. Deeper learning practices invite learners into a world larger than themselves, as they explore and develop their sense of image-bearing, they can develop gifts and abilities that prepare them for their role in God’s story. It is the daily, weekly, and monthly Deeper Learning practices at school which show what truly matters to the staff at the school.
As learners and as Christians, we choose a life that is oriented beyond our present reality. We work in a constant state of “now and not yet.” As schools intentionally move toward their espoused mission with their structures and their daily practices, they can know that they are moving toward what truly matters. Community stories of genuine engagement with the mission emerge, and as they are celebrated collectively, inertia begins to point toward the mission rather than away from it. No organization drifts to mission actualization. This process is ongoing, will include missteps, and will be always just out of our grasp. May humility guide successes and missteps as the school walk faithfully toward the mission that guides them.