TEACHER TUESDAY: RACHEL JANSSEN
Rachel Janssen was hired by Lower School principal Jim Parrish in 2005 just after she finished a master’s of education degree at Cedarville University. At WC, she taught computer and technology classes for four years, then moved to teaching fourth and fifth grade for a short time, and has taught in third grade for the last ten years.
How would you describe your teaching style? “I’m very relational. I love developing relationships with my students, having fun, and laughing with them. I want students to feel welcome and at home in my classroom. I like to create hands-on learning opportunities, and I love incorporating technology into learning.”
What is the most challenging aspect of your work? “Third grade is a year of big transitions for students. Kids this age do a significant amount of growth, both academically and behaviorally. There can be wide gaps and varying levels of ability in students, and those differences become more evident at this age. Seeking to meet every student’s needs where they are can be challenging.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work? “Watching students get excited about God’s world and having great discussions about the Lord is so rewarding.”
How do you incorporate faith and learning in your classroom? “Faith is the very heart of teaching. It’s why I teach at WC. More than anything I want students to understand and know their Creator and Savior. This is the most important thing I can teach. I want them to realize that all learning and knowledge points back to Him. We read to understand His word and the world he has given us. We seek His wisdom and discernment as we live life. When a student is having a bad day, I can pray with them and point them back to the Lord. There is nothing I love more than pointing kids back to the Lord and walking alongside parents to keep instilling this mindset.”