GPSFamily vacations have taken on a new adventure using a GPS. Knowing exactly where we’re going before the journey begins is now important and discussions frequently analyze optimal choices for keeping on course when detours for fuel, food or friends happen. Starting with the end in mind keeps us checking we’re en route all along the way.

As Adventist educators, starting a new calendar year is often a time for reflection and re-evaluation. Is the purpose of Adventist education clearly before us, despite detours in 2007? Have we prayerfully recommitted our lives to serve on whatever route God plans to best accomplish His purpose in 2008?

Reflecting on one or more articles in the Adventist Education Essentials topic of CIRCLE, the Adventist Curriculum and Instruction Resource Center Linking Educators, could be a helpful refocusing exercise. Each section has been recently updated, with topics such as how to integrate faith In the Classroom and On Campus, and The Ministry of Teaching.

One small gadget can change our experience on a road journey, focusing on the destination, more than the obstacles along the way. I recently read The Craft of Christian Teaching which refueled my journey as an Adventist educator. Van Dyk (2000) identifies true north for Christian education like this: “The purpose of our classroom efforts cannot simply be the transmission of classical intellectual insight, but rather, the whole-person equipping of our children for knowledgeable and competent discipleship in a hurting world.” This aligns with the Adventist philosophy of education aim and mission, to prepare “students for a useful and joy-filled life, fostering friendship with God, whole-person development, Bible-based values, and selfless service in accordance with the Seventh-day Adventist mission to the world”. Van Dyk provides practical tips, founded in a biblical worldview, on how to chart the best course between end goals and our 2008 starting point.