Why Climbing Mountains Should Be Part Of Every Teacher's Training
Thirty Mustard Seed teachers-in-training hoisted their backpacks and set out to climb a volcano. At 3,339 meters, Arjuna is one of Java’s highest peaks. Even for experienced climbers, this towering mountain presents a treacherous ascent.
For three days our young world-changers braved the cold and torrential rain which reduced their trail into a sea of mud. Having ascended through the clouds they pressed on through extreme exhaustion. They slipped. Falling down over and over, they navigated the path upwards along the edges of cliffs. At last they stood atop the summit. Buffeted by gusts of wind, they looked out at the horizon on all sides.
Why is mountain climbing an indispensable component of Mustard Seed’s teacher training? We want our schools to graduate wave after wave of resilient leaders. To forge resilience in children, we ourselves need to become resilient. Climbing mountains makes us resilient.
Who is your most beloved teacher?
I’m going to make an educated guess that this person advanced beyond your mind and reached your heart. He or she gave you a greater vision for life itself. We remember the greatest teachers not simply for their colorful power-point slides, but for the faith that radiated from their eyes. Masterful teachers are victorious. They love challenges. They live with a God-sized vision. They know who they are and what they are created for. Great teachers are adventurous, entrepreneurial, faithful, courageous and independent. These are the virtues that are planted in their students.
Each year we unite our hearts around a theme. Our themes transform our schools' organizational culture. They inform our vision of reality, influencing how we live and what we value. Our last theme was JUMP. We were pushed beyond our comfort zones. We wrestled with our fears. We learned to trust God.
Our New Focus
Now we are focused on becoming RESILIENT. The harder I throw a ball to the floor, the higher it bounces. Similarly, we will bounce back from our disappointments. We will learn to identify our bad excuses. We will become masters of forgiveness. We will take our example from Jesus, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross. We will get up after falling down, and bounce back after being criticized.
We anticipate by faith, that the resilience of our students will bless the world.