Image-bearers of God
This year we are continuing to focus on the theme of belonging and to explore what it means to belong. Belonging and inclusiveness are the topics of assemblies, devotions, and projects, and this theme makes its way into the details of our school day in how we relate to each other from a restorative viewpoint.
As teachers, it is our desire that each child feels known and accepted in our classroom. To that end, we encourage students to get to know one another in circle time by asking questions that allow for personal expression. We facilitate small group and large group discussion so that all voices may be heard. We model structured learning conversations to provide feedback both publicly and privately so as to honour all learners. Intentional, meaningful things are happening all around the building to foster a sense of belonging for all of our students. But we are also aware that more can be done.
Next week Thursday and Friday the staff and some members of the Board will gather for the annual Professional Development days that we call our Winter Residency. In past years, the topics have included Christian perspective and worldview in education, using design thinking to tackle “big stumpers” in classroom practice, and many elements of teaching pedagogy related to project-based learning. We have invited speakers, taken field trips, worked hard, and built relationships through these focused days of teacher learning.
This year, our staff will focus on how we can better provide a place of belonging for our students who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Our goal is to be unified in our desire to be a place of care for every student who walks our hallways and sits in our classrooms. It is our deep hope that each child feels safe, loved, and known.
To guide us toward that goal, we have invited Darren Spyksma from The Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia to lead us in conversation. Darren travels all over North America speaking to schools about how to care more intentionally for all kids, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is not our goal to take a stand on a theological position or to challenge the viewpoints of our members; rather, it is our desire to love kids deeply, recognizing their worth as image-bearers of God.
Please partner with us in prayer as we listen, discuss, and learn together as educators, support staff, and board members. Pray for clarity in our communication, for community and love to be strengthened, and for God’s name to be honoured throughout the process.
We are blessed to be a part of a community where we can dialogue in honesty, care, and love. We hope to model healthy dialogue together as staff and to our students as well. Thank you for your continued commitment to HDCH.
~ HDCH Board & Leadership Team