Saturday, January 31, 2015


I've seen a lot of hullabaloo lately about math. Specifically, the new methods that are being used to teach math. Now, I've seen firsthand kids who have struggled for years with traditional methods watch the proverbial light bulb come on, and they understand math in a whole new way. I've also felt validated to see the way I've mentally solved problems for years being presented as a viable method for finding solutions.

I've also been sworn at for finding merit in these methods. I've been told this is nothing more than another way for the government to brainwash children, and why can't we just stick with traditional methods. After all, they were good enough for my parents and grandparents. (Really? Brainwashing? I thought it was subtraction.)

But this post isn't particularly about math. It's more an abstract thought about how I'm viewing my faith right now. You see - when I teach, I follow the standards. I know what the end result needs to be, and I keep that in mind as I plan. It's a sort of "teach with the end in mind" approach. The district/state/government gets to set the standard. Whatever I do to reach that standard is really up to me. And in reality, I'm going to find as many ways to cover that standard as possible so as many students as possible can attain it. The standard in and of itself isn't good or evil. It just is what it is. (I'm not going to get into the political ramifications of Common Core, etc. here.) So if the standard is teaching kids to subtract multi-digit numbers, does it really matter if they regroup, add up, think in terms of money and making change, or use another method? The key is to find the method that works best for that student to attain the standard. here's where my rambling thoughts on faith come in. You see, God sets the standard. I don't get to argue or question it. I keep that end in mind as I try to go about my life. I may get some wrong answers along the way. I may be trying to fit into your mold of reaching that standard rather than using the method that works best for me. Isn't it beautiful that God allows us the grace to find different convictions to reach the same standard? The standard of holiness.

I'm in NO way saying there is more than one way to God. He makes that pretty clear in John 14:6. Jesus is the only way.

What I'm finding is that we can still reach God's standard whether we worship with organs and hymns or with driving rock bands. We can still reach God's standard whether we read from the NIV or the NASV. We can still reach God's standard whether we wear jeans or a suit to church. The important thing is to keep our eyes on the standard set by God and allow others grace to reach that standard in a way that might not be traditional, or the way "that was good enough for my parents, so it's good enough for me."

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