Partnership, by definition, is the relationship between two parties working toward a common interest. Merriam-Webster describes partnership as a business relationship. The teacher-parent partnership that Cary Christian School has nurtured for twenty-five years can be compared to a construction business. This partnership is a representation of a team of builders, hand-picked by a single, reigning contractor. Each member of the team is essential in performing distinctly important functions while constructing the walls of over 800 “castles” being built upon land within the grounds of an eternal kingdom.
As described by second grade teacher Mrs. Kelly Callahan, “As teachers at Cary Christian School, we have the unique opportunity to come alongside parents as they seek to raise their children in a Christ-centered home. We are able to teach from a biblical worldview, constantly pointing the students to Christ while praying that they grow to faithfully serve God all their lives.” This sentiment is echoed by the mother of two students, Mrs. Robin Muse: “What a great privilege it is to partner with like-minded followers of Jesus who push my children to love Him and exude His fruit of the spirit. Over the years, I have witnessed transparency and humility among the staff of CCS. I have felt confirmed these people are who I want to partner with to grow my children academically and spiritually.” Both of these women share the idea of author Paul David Tripp, who writes, “If you’re God’s child, the gospel isn’t an aspect of your life, it is your life; that is, it is the window through which you look at everything.”
The development of Cary Christian School students is ever-changing between the kindergarten and high school years. In the early years, the beginning groundwork of the figurative mini-castles must be strong and broad. As the castles rise to new heights, changing shapes, sizes, and viewpoints, the construction models must change to reinforce a strength able to withstand the introduction of new elements or potential hazards to the structure. High school teacher Mr. Patrick Halbrook understands the shift in the teacher-parent partnership as students enter into and navigate the high school years. He says, “As a high school teacher whose classes touch on all kinds of controversial topics, I am thankful for the privilege of being able to reinforce—rather than tear down—the Biblical values that parents are teaching their children at home. Perhaps nothing is more difficult in the world today than raising and educating faithful children, especially when they reach the teenage years. Speaking as a parent, I thank God that being part of a Christian community like CCS means I don’t have to try to do it alone. And speaking as a teacher, coming alongside parents to assist them in this task is an incredible privilege.”
Like a family on a beach creating their own masterpiece, each parent and staff member of CCS holds a shovel that digs, lifts, and then pours varieties of sand into the buckets used to construct the walls of these uniquely special castles. Into these castles we pour wisdom, knowledge, patience, encouragement, discipline, truth, gentleness, love, redirection, scripture, understanding, and so on. A solid, well-rounded structure, built by many, will allow each castle to stand strong despite the elements of the world providing a constant barrage of destruction. These elements are fierce. They consist of trauma, loss, sickness, abuse, doubt, fear, heartache, persecution, betrayal, anger, loneliness, temptation, and much more. The barrage of these things, intended by an enemy to destroy, may lead to the need for ongoing repairs, renovations and reinforcements. But the firm foundations of the walls, built during each castle’s formative years, will help the structure to remain, enabling it to ultimately stand tall within the Kingdom.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
Kacey Johnson is a mother of four CCS students and the author of Over My Shoulder: A Columbine Survivor’s Story of Resilience, Hope, and a Life Reclaimed. She blogs at kaceyruegseggerjohnson.com.