Education with new DNA

Education with new DNA

Education with new DNA

What if there’s more hope than we realize?

What if there’s more hope to share than we realize?

What if this hope changes everything – including education?

I remember clearly the day the world changed for me.  It was almost as if I saw color in the world for the first time – instead of everything in black and white and shades of gray.

I grew up in the church; I was a preacher’s daughter.  I answered all the questions correctly on the salvation test at the young age of six; I have a signed and dated baptismal certificate.

But about 40 years later, the world changed for me; there was more hope than I’d ever realized.

For the first time ever, someone shared the original good news:  trusting God gives me a new nature.  Jesus didn’t just clean up my old heart – He gave me a new one!  I have new DNA; I really have been “born again!”

Trusting God gives me more than eternal life; I have so much more than a ticket to heaven.

As my dear friend John Lynch says, “Even on my worst day, I’m Christ in me.”  I have a new identity.

So here’s where new life gets really interesting – and honestly, here’s where life gets pretty confusing.

We really do have new DNA; we really are living in a different kingdom.  But we still have our old habits and traditions; the rules of the game in our old world are still the same.  It’s not the way the world works, but for now – it’s the way the world is…we get to participate in “thy Kingdom come!”

But even with new DNA, my brain still often runs on the old programming.  Brain research now knows our thoughts build our brains; we’ve built formidable “old brains” with our old DNA.

It’ll take the rest of our journey on this planet to renew our brains with the thoughts of our new mind – the mind of Christ. This “updating” journey can get tangled and delayed by many “old life” and “old kingdom” systems.

Religion and traditional education can cause ugly tangles and significant delays.  We get lost because we often still ask the old questions about the new life; these old systems offers us old standards, agendas, and curriculum guides.

There are many gifted teachers and writers offering trustworthy road maps out of the dark forest of religion; we need every one of these authors – and their books. I’ve listed a few hopeful titles on the GOOD STUFF page of this website.

There are not yet so many teachers and writers offering trustworthy road maps out of the jungle of traditional education, but we’re finding each other.  We’re beginning to work together – and offer the hope of grace in the world of living color – even in school.

So what might education look like – with new DNA?

What new questions do we get to ask in school, because we live in a new Kingdom?

These new questions are possibilities from a student’s perspective:

EDUCATION IN THE OLD LIFE

EDUCATION IN THE NEW LIFE

1. Is this going to be on the test?

1.  Will this help me grow up and trust all that is true about me in my new life?  Will this help me trust all that is now true about you, too?

2.  What do I have to do to get an “A”?

2.  Will you help me?

3.  Is my GPA in the top 10%?

3.  Will you trust me?  Will you let me help you?

4.  What labels do I need to get some help?

4.  Will you keep reminding me, “I’m not behind”?  Will you trust me when I remind you, “You’re not behind”?

5.  How can I get community service credits for my resume?

5.  How can I build a relationship of trust with others so they will let me love them?

 

These new questions are possibilities from a teacher’s perspective:

EDUCATION IN THE OLD LIFE

EDUCATION IN THE NEW LIFE

1.  What do my students need to learn for the test?

1.  What “real food” can I offer for my student’s new life? – for their hearts and minds? How can I teach them who God really is and how big and beautiful His world is?

2.  How do I get enough grades this week?  How can I keep my student’s busy while I’m grading?

2.  How can I build a relationship of trust with my students so they will “taste and see” that “real food” is good?  How can I teach them that 100% is not the goal anymore? 

3.  How do I challenge the bright ones and help those that struggle?

3.  How can I help my students build relationships of trust with each other so they can depend on each other for help and protection? 

4.  Who do I need to refer for special education testing because they can’t keep up?

4.  How can I remind my students who they really are – on their worst day – and affirm them while they are maturing?  How can I teach them their capacities will increase as their maturity increases?

5.  What behavior management system will “work” this week?

5.  How can I lend my student’s strength instead of manage their behavior?  How can I teach them if behavior management was a good plan – the cross of Christ was a waste?

 

These new questions are possibilities from a parent’s perspective:

EDUCATION IN THE OLD LIFE

EDUCATION IN THE NEW LIFE

1.  Did my child do all his homework and finish all his projects?  Did I sign all the papers in the folder?

1.  What is my child learning about his new identity, God’s true identity, and the big and inviting kingdom we now get to explore together?  How can I help him grow up?  How can I remember his capacities will increase as his maturity increases?

2.  Have I checked my child’s grades online today?  What did he make on the test?

2.  How can I build a relationship of trust with my child so we can be real with each other and stay connected, even when he struggles?

3.  How do I make sure my child gets into the college of their choice?

3.  How can I encourage my child to build relationships of trust with mature others so when he goes to college they can depend on each other for protection in the middle of struggle and temptation?

4.  Is my child G.T.? or does he need a special education label to get some extra help?  Is my child bored – or does he just not care? 

4.  How can I help my child trust we’re all G. T. – and we all struggle?  How can I offer a home that is a safe place to stumble and fail – because only then will it be a safe place to grow?

5.  How can I get my child to comply this week? What reward can I offer so he’ll just do what I say?

5.  How can I learn to trust that my child is now hard-wired for heartfelt obedience?  How can I build relationships with other parents so we can trust together new ways of dealing with identity issues in our children – instead of thinking their problems are behavior issues with our old brains?

 

In the old world – we had to measure up.  It wasn’t safe to be behind.  Subject matter got handed out in processed packages so we’d be sure to all make a passing grade on the test.

Being the best was important; performing was the goal.  I needed to be ahead of you.

In the new world – we already measure up.  No one is behind; we’re all growing up – and growing up doesn’t happen alone – or at predictable speeds.  It’s now safe to stumble and struggle; others are close by to offer help.  I’m learning to help, too.

Being together is important; trusting God and others is the goal.  I need to be beside you.

If you’re curious about this original good news – John Lynch tells it very well in his Two Roads message.  I might offer a word of caution before you follow the link and invest about 45 minutes of your day:  this could change your life.  Grace changes everything.

What if there’s more hope than we realize?

What if there’s more hope to share than we realize?

What if this hope changes everything – including education?

I am inspired by your comments; I am challenged by your questions.  I hope this blog begins a conversation together.

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  • Paula Holsberry

    Excellent article, Janet. I am being influenced by a book I am reading by Carol Dweck called “Mindset”. So many things in your article reminded me of her findings. Keep speaking up!

    • Janet

      Thank you Paula! Yes, Carol Dweck is a “friend” of mine, too – I call all my favorite authors “friends!” You’ll find her “Mindset” book on the GOOD STUFF page of my website…thank you for confirming these thoughts with her findings. Blessings! https://www.janetnewberry.com/good-stuff/