Sometimes my first response to a student is too focused on the “how to” of my discipline and not to the whole student. Too much “Here are fifteen techniques on how to better write this paper” and not enough “I understand that you’re frustrated by the process of writing this paper. Here’s something to keep in mind.”
In short, sometimes I fail to let faith determine my response to a student, and I need to revise my first response.
Here’s an actual letter I received from a student this semester: Continue reading “Revision”
Wherein I try to explain what I do to integrate faith as a teacher of English literature and composition…
Continue reading “Tenure Application: Faith Integration Statement”
As part of my promotion application, I’m asked to supply the school with a faith statement. Here’s what I’ll submit with my application packet tomorrow.
Continue reading “Promotion Application: Faith Statement”
On Saturday, I wrote about the conceptual integration of my faith and field of study. Today, I’ll list some ways I try to be personally integrated.
A. Because I teach reading and writing, I personally read and write every day, and most importantly, use those two skills as spiritual disciplines (devotion and prayer).
B. I listen to my students’ writing before and as I assess it, one means of making sure I remain faithful to them.
C. I extend the same generosity to my students that I encourage my students to extend to the authors we read and discuss. This includes the way I frame my responses to their classroom contributions or how I frame my assessment comments.
D. I encourage transparency and frequently give students sample essays and rubrics so they can practice scoring work themselves.
E. I fully acknowledge that my students and I need are bodies as well as our minds, and I attempt to account for our bodies in our classroom plans.
I’m reading the literature entry in the Christian Worldview Integration Series from InterVarsity press. The series preface has made me think about how I would frame my own faith integration (something I have to do for a promotion application I’m preparing).
The series’ editors, Francis Beckwith and JP Moreland, argue that integration is both conceptual and personal. Here are five specific concepts that attempt to connect my faith and my field of study: English.
A. We live in a universe where language is a means of God’s special revelation to us. Because literature and composition draw special attention to those words, they are disciplines that play a crucial role in discovering who God is and who we are.
B.. Stories play a key role in communicating truth. “All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable.” Fiction is not necessarily a lie. It can, and frequently does, contain spiritual insights that the mere facts of reality .
C. Redemptive writing and reading participate in our call to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
D. Literature presents us a special, though not exclusive, way of learning about the human condition.
E. English literature is indebted to scripture and consistently engages with Biblical views of humanity the key doctrines of Christianity.