From the desk of Krista Wallace, Director of Admissions:
One of my favorite roles in my job as Director of Admissions is giving campus tours to visitors. During September, a group of student teachers from Japan visited Brook Hill. We were the first stop on their tour of public and private schools in the East Texas area. (This was part of a larger educational exchange with UT Tyler). Academic Dean, Brian Nelson, received them and gave them an overview of our educational approach before they were invited to observe an Upper School class.
As I walked them over to the Lower School for their campus tour, they fired question after question to me about something they thought fascinating: God. In the two hours that they’d been on campus, they all noticed something radically different about HOW we teach. They wanted to know WHY.
Through the translator, we dialogued back and forth. “What does God have to do with education?” they asked? “Why would you include religious instruction in classes like science?” Though most of Japan identifies with either Shinto or Buddhism, religion does not play a big role in the lives of most Japanese today.
As we walked the halls of the Lower School, they asked if young children could grasp this big concept of God. I explained that our Lower School teachers start off sharing stories from the Bible about who God is and they model His love and grace for them every day.
As students get older, teachers strive to teach their subject matter through God’s perspective. “Why is this important?” they inquired. We had wandered back over to the Upper School campus by this point in our conversation and were standing in Ms. Jeske’s Physics room. On the wall were posters of the universe and posters of the atom. We showed them the two posters and they immediately recognized what they were. I explained that we believe God is the maker of everything: from the atom to the universe. In art, we study the artist to understand her art. In science, we study the Creator to understand the creation. Whether it is science, math, history, or language, we believe God is the Creator of the world around us. As we understand God more deeply, we begin to understand the world around us with greater insight.
“Ah! Now we understand why you teach this way!” they exclaimed.
In East Texas, we are blessed to have quality Christian schools and it is easy to think that this style of education is the norm. But from an international perspective, this is certainly not the norm. At Brook Hill this year, we have students from 21 different countries and they are each receiving an excellent education that looks at the world through God’s lens. Brook Hill teachers are not only preparing the future leaders of our community, our teachers are equipping tomorrow’s global leaders, as well!