This is my fifth school year as an administrative assistant in a K–12 Adventist school. I grew up attending this same school. One of the teachers I had is still here, and now we’re great friends. It’s amazing how I’ve come full circle and can clearly see the positive evidence of Adventist education in my own life. Adventist education truly has the ability to change lives and family trees.
In a previous article, I mentioned the three reasons why I now choose Adventist education for my own children: spiritual focus, caring teachers and high academics. But, honestly, the longer I work at an Adventist school, I realize that whole-person education is becoming a big priority. By focusing on the student’s character, I’ve realized the great importance of mental health education and a changed heart for Christ — on my part and for the students. Prayer is constant on campus. In this day, we need more Jesus.
I’ve learned three important things (more, certainly, but these three stand out):
1. Kids want to do well. They want to succeed. They need adults to come alongside them, work with them and care about them.
2. Almost all kids have adverse experiences, which affect their learning, retention and behavior. We are living in a time in history where we now understand some effects of ACEs — adverse childhood experiences — on children. Understanding it better helps develop a deeper love and empathy for the kids.
3. We can all do better. I recently had my four-year job evaluation and I was able to write some goals for personal growth. One of my goals is to understand how to better communicate and help students who are sent to the front office for behavioral issues. Kids need adults to love, encourage, support and model healthy behavior. I am committed to doing this for our kids. Working at an Adventist school has honestly helped me grow and become a better parent to my own kids.
Prov. 18:15 tells us, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” And Prov. 16:16 says, “How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”
Let’s all have more empathy and love for kids — the kind of love that God calls us to give. After a long pandemic and a sin-filled world, our kids need us to come alongside them, support and guide them. We are truly discipling kids and making eternal impacts. This is why I keep coming back to Adventist education. Our kids need it. We need it.