No dream that cannot be fulfilled
No dream that cannot be fulfilled

TfT Bulletin #11   |   May 25, 2022

Some books just need to be reread. This past month I returned to God Has a Dream (2005) by Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1931–2021). These words resonate with me:

All over this magnificent world God calls us to extend [God’s] kingdom of shalom—peace and wholeness—of justice, of goodness, of compassion, of caring, of sharing, of laughter, of joy, and of reconciliation. God is transfiguring the world right this very moment through us because God believes in us and because God loves us. What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And as we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger that cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.

No doubt, most of us are a little (or a lot) weary as we come to the end of this school year. Within this weariness, I invite you to rest in the truth that God works through you, believes in you, and loves you. It is through Him that all things are made new—including us. Thank you for inviting your students into this story of renewal this past year.

Nurturing a caring school community

As reflected in the Deep Hopes of many teachers, the TfT network emphasizes the importance of our students becoming caring, compassionate people. Storyline language and FLEx opportunities also convey this value. This article published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education speaks to the importance of, and barriers to, schools nurturing habits of caring in students. It provides practical scaffolding that align with the important sequencing used in TfT: invite, nurture, and empower.

Secondary TfT: College Composition 12

In the same vein as the Harvard article on caring, the students in Janie Van Dyke’s 12th Grade College Composition course at Unity Christian High School were invited into a FLEx entitled Unlocking the Story. With the purpose of both building relationships and capturing someone’s story, students selected people within the community to visit multiple times over the length of the course, culminating in the students writing a chapter of their interviewee’s life. The finished product was presented as a gift during their final visit, and a few of the stories have been published in a local paper. Featured community members appreciated not only the written product but also but also the time shared together, as evidenced by this note:
My father really looked forward to the students’ visits—it was the highlight of his day each time they came. He enjoyed getting to know them and will miss them. It is such a good idea to have a younger generation interact with an older—they can both learn a lot and benefit from the experience and learn to appreciate each other.

Elementary TfT: 2nd Grade Science and Art at Surrey Christian School

At Surrey Christian School, the Storyline in Katie Churchill’s 2nd Grade class is Falling in Love with God’s World as it naturally flows out of her Deep Hope that her students fall in love with God’s people and creation, that they naturally wonder and foster a curiosity for the world around them. Her Storyline and Deep Hope came together during her science unit on endangered animals. Katie and her students are wondering and learning about endangered animals—how they reflect who their Creator is and what can be done to prevent extinction. Through Art, they are learning about the specific and incredible beauty that God created in each animal. The students are sharing their findings at a gallery within the community and will use their artwork to raise donations for endangered animals. Check out Katie’s learning story

Meeting our School Designer Team: Craig Juffer

Craig resides in Pella, Iowa, where he serves as the Director of Learning for Pella Christian Schools and as a curriculum and instruction consultant to other area Christian schools. Having served in various teaching and administrative roles over his career, he appreciates how the TfT framework meshes strong educational practices with the formation of people who can be more fully formed to embody God’s collective and individual call for their lives. Craig enjoys life with his family, venturing to various activities and exploring the outdoors together.

Craig shares this story from Ashli Van Donselaar, middle school math teacher at Pella Christian Grade School.