If you enter any school in the Rocky Mountain Conference, you will see the acronym CHERISH prominently displayed. Spending time in one of our schools will show you the core values upon which we base our educational system: Christ-centered learning, Honor, Exploration, Responsibility, Integrity, Service, and Heroism. While the posters do add a pop of color, the words and values they represent add so much more.
Adventist education has come a long way since that first classroom in 1853. The world has changed exponentially, even in the 10 years since we implemented our CHERISH core values. What worked in the past may not work in the future, and, if we want to continue to educate students in a classroom filled with Jesus’ love, we have to make some changes.
One of those changes is standards-based learning (SBL). While some are concerned that this method is moving away from the traditions of Adventism, a closer look will reveal that it is only a framework to accomplish our calling as Seventh-day Adventist teachers. Matthew 5 states, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
In RMC, we desire to utilize our curriculum to challenge students to find their purpose and prepare them to serve. Our work begins as we point our students to Christ, lead them to discover their God-given talents, and help them see themselves as Christ sees them. SBL is a tool that will enable teachers to teach with more targeted instruction, thus empowering students to own their individual learning experience.
More important than any form of curriculum is our shared purpose and commitment: to show our students that there is Something Better than what they see in the world around them. That is where our CHERISH core values came from, and it’s exciting to know that Adventist educators from all over North America will be focusing on Something Better this summer at our Teachers’ Convention in Arizona.
Parents choose Adventist education for a multitude of reasons, but overall, they want their students in a classroom that will “enable learners to develop a life of faith in God and to use their knowledge, skills, and understanding to serve God and humanity” (from Adventist Education.org).
In the Rocky Mountain Conference, our number one intention is to show our students the beauty of Jesus. Our teachers are privileged to be at the forefront of this mission, but this work cannot be done alone. Adventist schools succeed only with the help and support of the local constituency—you. Please pray for the students and leaders, and, if possible, support them with your time, skills and finances.