From a Parent’s Heart to Yours

We have the pleasure of sharing with you a testimony from one of the parents of one of Jeremy’s students. This came to us unsolicited and is just one of many stories about the impact his teaching at BFA is having on his students, their families, and their ministry. This family ministers in Germany with the German people:

Our family has served as missionaries in Europe for 20 years. We have 7 children, all born overseas. Our third child, J, had thrived in Swedish school, and in fact her teacher sobbed when she left saying she was the sunshine of the class. Our family moved to Sweden and put 5 children into German school (a very different approach to learning and a whole new language). Within months, our “sunshine” daughter was starting to wilt. Her first-time teacher was struggling to survive and did not have the capacity to come alongside J and help her with this transition. The teacher’s method of classroom management was to scream at the students. At J’s parent/teacher talk for her transition to her next school, J’s teacher basically wrote her off and said she was a bad student and poor in almost every area in school. There was no consideration given for the fact that she was doing school in her third language and that no assistance or support had been offered to her in those three years…

(My personal concern is [the] 2-3 year “tourist teacher” issue where people come for a limited amount of time. I think they are drawn to living in Europe and dabbling in missions. They get to do quite a bit of travel, are in a safe environment here, but do not have to invest at all in Germany in learning the language or developing friendships. Most importantly, many of these people have not ever lived cross-culturally before and are not adequately prepared for children from cross-cultural backgrounds… We have so many monocultural teachers teaching cross-cultural children with inadequate training in culture. (This is one of my greatest concerns!)…

Our daughter was crushed and her self-assurance was gone. We decided it was necessary to move her to Black Forest Academy. We were thrilled for her to have Jeremy as her teacher during her transition year. With his cross-cultural background, he understood our daughter in a way many of the N. American teachers couldn’t. He encouraged her in the areas she excelled and did not criticize her weaknesses, but rather supported her in them so that she slowly began to improve. She loved him as her teacher and cried when her year with him was done. Jeremy played a huge part in helping our daughter not only begin to enjoy school, but to gain back her self-confidence at a critical age. We are so thankful for Jeremy’s gift of teaching, his kind heart, love for children and most of all cross-cultural sensitivity to allow our daughter the space she needed to grow and thrive.

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