“Christian schools should be known as communities of grace – places where visitors clearly see God at work in the way relationships are conducted.” -Dr Bruce Hekman, Professor of Education
Every school is a community – a collection of people (teachers, students etc.) brought together by a common pursuit. But what makes a school a community of grace? How would a school visitor know that they have walked into a community of grace? I think they would see:
In a community where competition and proving one’s value is central, you might see people communicating, or even working together, but you would not see them spontaneously showing affection to one another. That is why I am so encouraged when I see one of our students spontaneously hugging a friend or teacher, or drawing someone a picture or just enjoying standing near someone.
Seeing a child and a teacher in conversation illustrates two characteristics of a community of grace. Everyone – even the smallest child in the community – has a voice. And everyone – even a busy teacher – makes time to listen and know the children. I rejoice that every child at TCC is known individually.
The spontaneous, overflowing laughter of children is perhaps the most pleasant sound in the whole world. Laughter is not the only thing a visitor will meet at TCC; they will meet serious work, and sometimes tears or frowns. But last week when I saw a few children hiding behind a corner to give their teacher a playful ‘fright’ when she came to class, it reminded me that in a community of grace there is room for playfulness and joy.
The most powerful evidence that a visitor has entered a community of grace must ultimately be that they themselves are accepted wholeheartedly. I’ve often wondered why our students shower visitors with greetings and hugs and questions and smiles, before they even know them. I hope that, at least in part, it is because our students feel so secure and accepted in our little school community, that they can extend that acceptance to others.
Why don’t you come see our community for yourself? Arrange a visit to TCC by emailing or phoning us.