True Stories of Transformation from the Classroom

The theme of the 2009 EurECA Conference was 'How should Christians teach?' As preparation for the conference, every participant was asked to prepare in advance a short story from the classroom. This was to be a written description of a particular moment of teaching and learning in which personal transformation (of any kind, not only 'spiritual' in the narrow sense of the word) happened to the writer and/or others. During the conference workshop sessions, the participants were put into small groups to look at each other's stories and work together to write a commentary on each in the light of what the main speaker, David Smith, was sharing in the plenary sessions.

A selection from these stories (and commentaries where available) have been grouped together as shown below. To go directly to a group of stories, click on the title of the group.

WHEN I WAS A CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON ...

Communist indoctrination
Learning through pain
Teaching as a passion
My father - a child of God
The power of forgiveness
Distress turned into blessing
The challenge of freedom

WHEN I WAS A YOUNG TEACHER ...

Testing the teacher
Reaching out
Ice-breakers
Low achievers
Discipline
Defiance
Educating the teacher
Forgive as Christ forgave

TEACHING TEACHERS ...
The power of personal testimony
Shifting perspectives
Learning by experience
Chronos and Kairos

THIS WAS A REAL 'AHA!' MOMENT ...
3-D vision
Curriculum design
Surely it's not the same person!
Abortion
Prayer in literature
Learning styles and assessment
Montessori
Right and left
Flying geese
Shakespeare

RELATING TO AN INDIVIDUAL CHILD IN THE CLASS ...
Rules are rules ... or are they?
Psychology
The black sheep
I'm going to sell you
Don't touch me!
Boundaries
Cheating
Turnaround
Belonging
Quality time
Broken love
Overcoming fear

WORKING WITH TEACHING COLLEAGUES AND PARENTS ...
Videotaping
Teaching Jesus' way
Embracing the unavoidable

THE LIVING BIBLE IN CLASSROOM LIFE ...

Inviting the unexpected
Coming out
In weakness
Truman Show
I do - and I understand
Revelation
The meaning of 7
Risen indeed 

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS ...
Prayer impact on the classroom
A whisper in the storm
At the chief inspector's