Hello! And welcome to the Shekinah world. My introduction to this world came when my oldest daughter began taking classes here part-time as a freshman. It wasn't long before we got pulled into the Shekinah family, and our world has never been the same!
But let me tell you just a bit about me and how I got here. I graduated with an English Education degree from Cedarville University in 1995, and began teaching high school English at Delaware Christian (Delaware, OH) in the fall of 1995. I taught American and British literatures, a literature survey course, Speech, Journalism, Remedial Reading, as well as writing and grammar. While at DCS, I pushed for students to do more reading, adding class novel reading as part of the curriculum. My journalism students and I started a monthly student newspaper and lengthened the yearbook.
I absolutely loved my time at DCS, but God blessed my husband and I with a baby girl, so after 4 years, I quit my full time job at DCS and began working part-time as an adjunct professor at Rosedale Bible College, teaching College Composition. I worked at RBC from 2000-2008. By then, my firstborn had been joined by 3 more sisters, and I had begun homeschooling.
During the years where I didn't have a formal employer, I tutored and taught several writing classes for home school students. But the majority of my energy went into educating my own daughters. I home schooled for 12 years, and immersed myself in the education process. I learned more than they did! The strong connection between history and literature became even clearer to me, as well as how historical events influenced cultures and therefore what they wrote. We read hundreds of books, wonderful books that made the world and history come alive for our family.
Those 12 years of homeschooling have made me a much stronger teacher. Here is an example of something I learned in homeschooling, not college. If I were to ask you what is the most important invention of all time, what would you say? I would say the printing press. It is no coincidence that the reformation began less than 35 years after the invention of the printing press. The first book to be printed was the Bible, and being able to read the Bible broke the power of the Catholic Church and brought the light of the gospel to the masses. I love to tell this story because it highlights for students the importance of the printed word, the power that words have to bring change, and the power of the gospel. I use this story in British Literature when we are learning about the Middle Ages and the beliefs the common people had about how to be saved and how the Catholic Church had duped them into believing many unbiblical teachings. We read excerpts from Canterbury Tales in this unit. Then I lead students into asking: how did the Catholic Church lose its power? How did the true gospel come to light? The printing press is a big piece of that story.
I hope you can see from this example that I love to teach students about the power of the gospel, and to look at literature from a Christian world view. I am always looking for ways to bring Christ into what we are learning. For example, when we read portions of the Iliad and the Odyssey, I talk about the Greek's pagan worldview, their constant needing to please the gods, and their constant fear of displeasing the gods. We then compare that to the gospel, and the peace that being God's child gives us. What a gift we have to wake up every day free from the worry that if we get sick, or our car breaks down that God is mad at us.
I'm also passionate about getting students to read! This generation isn't doing enough reading! I see reading as an important part of understanding other people, other cultures, and other time periods. We can't truly understand the issues that our country faces today if we don't understand our past. I am passionate about creating curiosity and a love for learning. These are things that will make good companions for life's journey and help to make a successful life.
After my daughter's positive part-time experience at Shekinah, we decided to send her full time and our 2nd daughter soon joined her. They have loved being at Shekinah, and have made many wonderful friends. When Shekinah approached me about teaching here, it was easy for me to think of joining the faculty here.
The Shekinah family is truly special, and I hope you'll join us!