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Susan Watson Bryan

Bachelor of Arts, Communication, 2004, Columbia International University

Master of Arts, Teaching, 2008, Columbia International University

Richland School District 2

Columbia, SC

A Christian teacher in the public schools can make a huge impact. We are faced with children who come from very diverse backgrounds, bring a lot of baggage into the classroom, and face great challenges when they go home. We cannot overtly discuss Christianity with our students, but we can live out Christian principles through our actions and attitudes. 

There's an old adage in education that says: "Students won't remember what you say, but they'll remember how you made them feel." Christian teachers in the public schools need to remember that. How we treat our students is what they will remember. We can choose to display the fruit of the Spirit as we interact with our students each day, and as we share Christ's love in that way, we are touching lives with His Truth. 

During my first year of teaching, I had a brilliant student in my class. But he presented great challenges behaviorally, came from an abusive family, and had tested the patience of his previous teachers. His parents could also be difficult. The Lord helped me have a gentle spirit toward the whole family, and to love them. I never knew what each day would hold with this student, so, every morning before breakfast, I would pray for discernment to know what I would need to address, and for wisdom to know how to address it. By God’s grace, the student, the family, and I had a successful year together. This is one small example among countless others. 

I believe the Lord is using me to make an impact in the public schools. It requires intentionality, perseverance, and much prayer, but the thrill of living the Christian life before the eyes of unbelievers is worth it!

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