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Same But Different: The Need for Reassurance

Education is a profession that is scientifically crafted yet artistically delivered. There are research-based practices known to be effective in teaching, and there are common milestones of child development that occur at specific ages in a child’s life. Yet, there are many ways a teacher can deliver learning to students, and the ability to utilize creativity within the learning environment is what attracts many to the profession of education.

Familiarity and routines bring comfort to many. Visiting a childhood home or practicing family traditions can bring a feeling of warmth and security. The same is true for children; familiar routines, people, and items bring a strong sense of security that allows children to take appropriate risks. When children feel safe on the playground, they may try to go higher on the monkey bars, or when they know they are secure in their reading, they may attempt to read a book that is more challenging.

However, when things are different, people often proceed with caution. When you enter the city limits in an unknown metropolitan area, many adults drive a bit more cautiously. When children are in a big crowd of unfamiliar people, they may cling to a familiar adult until they know they are fully safe.

The past year and a half has brought many changes in the lives of children. Living life during the time of COVID has not always been easy for many people, children included. And, for some of the youngest children, life before COVID is somewhat unfamiliar or maybe even totally foreign to them.

What are some things you’ve continued in your school or classroom to provide comfort and reassurance to families and students? What traditions remain that hold meaning to many people? How do you make sure children are safe and secure, not only in your classroom environment, but also in their development and learning?

Thankfully, God reassures His people that He is unchanging; He is a constant and firm God. Malachi 3:6a (ESV) says, “For I the Lord do not change.” God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness are always present. Even when there is chaos, there is peace from God. The familiar liturgical words of “May the peace of the Lord be with you always” is a wonderful and comforting phrase too.

During this unique time, look for the good, the routine, and the familiar components that bring assurance and safety to students, families, and colleagues. While things may be somewhat different, look for ways to weave calmness into all you can. Keep Christ as the center of all you do, and look for ways to share His peace whenever possible.

Dr. Drew Gerdes serves as Early Childhood Principal at Concordia International School (LCMS) in Shanghai, China. Before arriving in Shanghai, Drew was a teacher and administrator in the LCMS Missouri District. Drew is passionate about Lutheran schools and early childhood education.

1 Comment

  1. George A Guidera on October 29, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Yes, children need teacher who will embrace them and their dreams with Lutheran schools that care for them and their vision for life. It is always a joy to see your commitment to them and their discovery of mission in God’s promise and way. Blessings, George Guidera

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