I love seeing my students not only grow socially and academically, but also spiritually as they learn how they are uniquely created. Middle School years are not always easy for my students and I am thankful that I am able to show them how much they are loved by God.
Faith & Life
Mrs. Vander Woude graduated from Purdue University Northwest (K-8 education), Trinity College (special education), and Cornerstone University (MA in TESOL/ELL). She has been teaching special education and coordinating support services for ages 3 through 8th grade since 2000. She and her husband have one son who is a NorthPointe graduate and a daughter who currently attends NPC. Her youngest baby is a 4 year old whippet/hound rescue named Winston and they love hanging out at the dog park together. Her students enjoy cuddling her three therapy guinea pigs in the Student Union.
Statement of Faith
Even with all this life that God has given me and for all he has brought me through, I still find days where I am trying to live without faith. I will set faith to the side for a moment and go on with life on my own. Each time I have done this and tried to feebly walk around life without faith, I have found it to be empty and without meaning. Every time I have come stumbling or falling back to my faith. My faith cannot be one part of my life to be taken out of it’s box when needed. My faith is intimately woven into every piece of my life. The first opportunity I had to weave my faith into teaching in a school setting was in a public school. I loved my students who were my mission and I showed them God’s image but my faith could only be shown by my actions and it could not come out in my words.
At NorthPointe I have the unique opportunity to not only show love to God’s children but also tell them about it. I can talk to them about why I love them and guide them in how they are to love their neighbors. Along with achieving academic standards, my classroom provides teachable moments and discussions about this. Many students with learning differences struggle with social skills. On a daily basis I guide students in how to respond to their peers as God would when they disagree or how to love their their enemies in the hallways.
I continue to believe that my students are a part of the mission God has given me in my life. However, at NorthPointe I can also equip and prepare my students to be part of God’s commision to reach the world. I incorporate this mission mandate into my teaching by helping students develop and strengthen their walk with Christ. I also point them to mission opportunities right in front of them at North Pointe and in their surrounding community. Whether is be helping a peer with a math problem or helping set up chairs for chapel, these opportunities that will help them develop their own mission mindset.
God’s image can be seen through my patience, commitment and my respect for each of the students I work with. I help guide students in applying biblical principles on a daily basis and making biblical choices. How students’ time is managed and taking responsibility for their work they can reflect God’s image. I can give God the glory for their progress and tell them how to rely on him when there are struggles. Teaching children with learning differences provides many chances to show my students how God has created them uniquely, nothing about them was created as a mistake. When they understand what it means to be made in God’s image they can reflect this to the world they live in.
I am thankful for a teaching environment where my faith can not only be seen in my actions but also be heard in what I teach and the words I say. It is my prayer that all of the students that I encounter will strengthen their faith and learn how they too can weave it into the life God gave them.