It’s been said so many times before in the field of education, but it is so true. Granted, I have not been in the field as long as some others out there, but the more and more experience that I gain, I see the educational process needs to change. Am I referring to this new web 2.0, digital, tech era? Not necessarily. Are those things important to plug in to our educational system today, absolutely! In fact, as I shared in a recent post, “Just keep swimming“, I’ve been learning more in how to implement and use these amazing tools in education. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, smartboards, even today’s cell phones and netbooks can have a tremendously positive effect on how kids learn. I’m all for “plugging in”! There are other ways in which we can get outside of the “norm” and breath life back in to education.
One of my teachers has done just that. He has brought a perspective to his students that took some getting used to (by the students, parents, and even myself). He decided to transform his classroom in to the Wilderness Tabernacle. Also, as you can see, he desired to get the students out of their routine by removing a majority of the desks and utilizing bean bags and wood planks for writing surfaces. The artifacts on the back wall bring a “hands on” approach as well. He’s thinking outside the box! It’s not just a different classroom set up. It’s a way to engage his kids in a way they may not be used to. A way for them to be comfortable, yet focused.
In the book of 1 Samuel chapter 4, the Israelites are twice defeated in battle by the Philistines. After the initial battle, 4,000 Israelites lay dead on the battlefield. The plan was to bring the ark of the covenant in to battle with them the next time to show that God was on their side.
“When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, ‘Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that it [italics mine] may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.'” – 1 Samuel 4:3
The Philistines were afraid and understood that this symbol was powerful, yet they went into fight for a second time. The Israelites were defeated yet again. This time, some thirty thousand lay dead on the battlefield. God withdrew his Hand from them in battle because they were relying upon the ark to save them. They were relying on what they thought was in the box, not on Who lives everywhere outside of the box.
We need to remember that our faith is not confined to Sundays. We need to think outside of the box. All too often, we get trapped in our little world by the things that so easily entangle us. Sometimes, it may be Facebook, Twitter, or our wonderful little cellular devices. How many times have we gotten frustrated because Facebook was not working properly, or we lost our cell phone? Did you feel like the world needed to stop because we couldn’t check to see if someone commented on our latest post or check to see if someone sent us a text. Remember, I’m a huge advocate of these tools, but all of us need to remember that is what they are, just tools. They don’t define us. What defines us, is the One who made us!
My challenge for you today is to get outside of your box. Get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes we forget that even the small changes in life can make the biggest difference. God bless you!