Hillcrest’s Teacher Mentor, Michele Foss visited my office last Monday to update me on the new Minnesota teaching licensure requirements. The changes in these requirements reflect how distinct Hillcrest is from our state counterparts.
The new requirements require cultural competency training. Cultural competency sounds like a good thing. It sounds like the goal is to have a greater understanding of the various backgrounds of students and families served to help them achieve. There seems to be a respect of others while all are moving toward higher academic achievement. Unfortunately, the new requirements show this doesn’t appear to be the cultural competency they’re requiring.
Although the traditional issues one would associate with culture are present in the training, a significant emphasis is to have teachers identify and adjust their personal bias toward topics related to gender and fluid sexuality. Whatever one's thoughts on the requirements, they point out that even our government understands that the values teachers hold translate in the classroom, and the state is working to make sure those values are as much aligned with a godless system as possible.
The new requirements remind me of Luke 6:40. “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” It doesn’t say a student will be like their curriculum, or like their activities, but “like their teacher.”
Being like one's teacher makes sense, especially in regards the number of hours students spend with teachers on a weekly basis. One of the things I repeatedly hear from parents is the wonderful role models the Hillcrest teachers are to their kids. I agree.
Our teachers love God. I know because I assess them. I know that each and every one of our teachers have a living relationship with Jesus Christ that is lived out in front of their students on daily basis. Our students are spending a good deal of their day with meaningful adults who regularly point them to the Biblical truth. This truth informs students that they are created in God’s image, and that the answer to their identity is found in Jesus Christ.
As we press toward the goal that God is laying before us as a school, we welcome the opportunity to walk alongside students in building their faith. Our students are taught that what’s going on in the culture is not a surprise to God.
We practice habits that build perseverance and character that will be necessary for our young adults in the years to come. Our students are learning to articulate the Biblical perspective in a way that draws people to the truths of the Bible. It’s all part of building faith, strengthening character, and developing the intellect of each Hillcrest student.