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Allyson Beeke

Allyson Beeke
Allyson Beeke
HS English/Big Picture Learning Program
Groups: High School

Faith and Learning Statement

Allyson Beeke--Big Picture Learning and HS English

The Love Mandate “Love the Lord your God….  Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-38).

Most of us live in bubbles, not all the same, but they are bubbles nonetheless. One of the great beauties of literature is that we can find ourselves lost in a world that is completely different from our reality. Through reading, writing, and discussion we are able to explore worlds and people we may never meet. In this exploration, we hope to better understand God as the Creator of this complex universe and our neighbors as beings created in his image. Atticus Finch wisely said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Literature gives us this opportunity by exposing us to the neighbors we do not know yet.

The Image Mandate “Let us make man in our image….  Be fruitful…fill the earth…subdue it…rule over every living creature…" (Gen. 1:26, 28).

As image bearers of God himself, He has gifted each of us with critical reasoning abilities. Part of being a good steward includes developing and using these skills in the areas of the written and spoken word. Literature is a gracious gift from God; the real value of it is in all communication, properly understood in light of our creation in God’s image, the God who has communicated with us. In English class, we write, rewrite, give speeches, work in groups and have debates in order to sharpen our communication skills. God is the perfect communicator and the perfect thinker; in class, I seek to strengthen and improve these skills to reflect more of who He is. 

I also seek to teach the image mandate in Big Picture Learning. Students work on discovering what their strengths and weaknesses are and where their interests lie. They take that information and find internships that will best fit the abilities God has given them. Sometimes they discover hidden talents they did not know they had; sometimes they discover careers that are not for them, but they sometimes find exactly where they are supposed to be. One student came in after a shadow day with a beaming face and said, “I found my people!” This is part of why we are here to help students find where God is calling them and how they can fill the earth, subdue it, and rule over it.

The Mission Mandate  “Go and make disciples...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:18-20).

Recently, I heard the announcer on the radio make this powerful statement: “Truth is great, but it’s only effective if it is loud and it is clear.” Although the announcer likely did not direct the point toward either teaching or spreading the gospel message, it is applicable to both. As Christians, we know the greatest truth because we know Jesus Christ himself. Christ commanded us to share this knowledge with the world by going to the world. In Big Picture Learning, we do just this. We send students out into the real world every week; while they may not be preaching the gospel directly with words, they are certainly going into the world. Part of our goal in Big Picture Learning is to prepare these students not only with the skills to work well in the real world, but also to effectively know how they can share truth loudly and clearly. Each week Advisory classes spend time discussing what is happening at internships; this can be a time of rich growth for students as they are exposed to many people of different walks of life.