In January, I am going to teach a couple of classes at my alma mater. Because it is a faith-based university, I had to write a statement explaining how I was going to incorporate my faith into the classroom setting. I had been prepped beforehand that the wrong answer was to talk about starting class with a prayer or a Bible reading. I’m teaching English, not a Bible class, and they were looking for something a little more subtle.
It was honestly a little bit of a stumper:
How do I subtly integrate my faith into teaching English?
Basically, I concluded that since my whole life was to be lived to the glory of God, teaching English fell into that category. I determined that I would try my best to imitate Christ in my personal interactions with the students. I would treat them with love and compassion, recognizing that as college students, they are at a very vulnerable time in their lives. Many of them have been displaced from their homes and everything they know, and are in a completely new place, where perhaps the only adults they know are their professors. I will be mindful of that and try to support them personally as they navigate their brand new existences as college students.
Furthermore, as a Comp teacher, one of my main objectives is to teach critical thinking skills, which I believe are absolutely vital, both to a student’s personal development, and to the future of the church. As Christians, we are called to interact with the world around us in a way that it can understand. We need to know how do deal with different perspectives and different worldviews, and we can not effectively do that if we have not seriously examined our own worldview. I have found that many students lack the critical thinking apparatus that allows them to do that; thus, one of my main jobs as an English teacher is to equip students to effectively engage with the “texts” around them, be they on paper, on the television, or coming from a pulpit. The critical thinking skills they develop in Freshman English can serve not only to strengthen their own faith, but also to help them share that faith with the world.
That’s sort of the gist of what I wrote. Maybe it was lame.
But honestly, it’s harder than it looks. Try it! If someone were to interview you and ask how you integrated your faith into your job, what would you say?