- Normandy Schools Collaborative
Confidence in What We Hope For
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
—Hebrews 11:1 NIV
I was prompted to think about this powerful statement earlier this week. As we approach MAP testing and EOC exams, and as I was standing in the newly completed libraries at Washington and Jefferson schools, this verse came to my mind.
Two years ago, all we had was our faith that the additions to these schools would happen. We had plans. We had drawings. We had resources and expertise; but it was still an idea. We could see it intellectually, but the libraries, and offices, and new entrances were not there yet.
According to Hebrews 11:1, we do not need faith to see the construction now. It’s there. We can walk through it. We can touch it. But we still need significant levels of faith for future accomplishments.
We need faith that our young scholars will perform well on the state assessments. We need faith that they will be resilient, that they will remember what they learned in classes with our hard-working staff. We need faith that our students will push through challenges in their lives and come each day prepared to demonstrate what they know. Our students are bright and intelligent but for whatever reason, this is sometimes difficult for them to show on a standardized test. We must encourage them and see for them what may not be readily apparent. We must exude this faith as we walk and talk with our students in the remaining weeks of school.
We must actually have so much faith that it becomes contagious for our students and colleagues!
Today we do final preparation for the state assessments that will begin on Monday. Faith requires us to act as if we know the successful outcome, even when we have not seen all the evidence. Let’s work to make the environment ready. Let’s create spaces that support our young scholars in doing their best. Let’s use language that continues to equip them. On the days we are not testing, we must keep teaching, keep focusing upon their learning.
Last night, my faith was rewarded when I attended the Spring Concert and Senior Showcase at the high school. As I watched different groups enter and exit the stage — Normandy 7/8 Grade Center Orchestra, the Normandy High School Concert/Jazz Band, the High School Chorale, soloists, guitar students, dancers, the alumni who returned to perform with their former classmates — I realized that 100 students must have crossed that stage last night. The faith we have in them is now evident! We can see what they have accomplished.
Let’s leverage our relationships with children to support them in having faith in themselves, because they too must learn how to live by seeing what is not yet tangible. Let’s remember the paradox of our work. Let’s focus on the good works of our children to fuel our personal faith in them all — and in our future!
Dr. Charles J. Pearson
Superintendent of Schools