In my forty years as an educator I have served as a teacher (in both government and independent schools), middle level leader and, for the last 17 years, the Headmaster of two Anglican schools. What a privilege it has been to serve God in this way and to play a part in bringing the message of the Gospel to students and their families.
Whether we are delivering a lesson to a class of students, preparing teaching programmes, managing a kerfuffle in the playground (or on Facebook) or counselling parents, we reveal our personal values and beliefs which in turn impact on our students and their families. There is no escaping the impact we have on those around us in schools.
A key influence on the development of my understanding about teaching as Christian mission has been the first chapter of Colossians. In verses 15 to 17 the Apostle Paul advises that:
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Understanding this passage raises the stakes for a Christian teacher. If Christ is central to all of creation, including the God-created natural world and the creative work of humans created in His image, and if “in him all things hold together” then Christ is central to the learning that takes place in the classroom. We do not live in a ‘dualistic’ world – Christ is central and therefore relevant to all matters of everyday life and learning. Understanding this was a significant moment for me as a teacher of Economics and a school administrator.
This of course is in addition to the pastoral dimension to our work as teachers, where we are called to be the instruments of God’s love and compassion to our students.
It is the opportunity to support teachers and schools in these two areas that has attracted me to the position of Executive Director of EdComm. It is a privilege to lead the small but dedicated team of capable professional educators at EdComm in caring for and supporting teachers in their high calling of being a Christian teacher.
The Anglican Education Commission, Diocese of Sydney (Anglican EdComm) was established in 2006 by the Diocese in recognition of the growing importance of the work of Anglican teachers and Anglican schools – specifically “to promote the Christian faith and a biblical approach to education within the Diocese”.
It is my hope that the services and support provided by EdComm will equip teachers and schools in their mission to deliver biblically-based teaching and pastoral support for the students and families in their care.