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Brenda Decker

Retirement Feature:
Brenda Decker

CAMPUS: Rockford Christian School

ROLE: Preschool Teacher

Where did you begin your career in education?

I've been teaching early elementary or preschool for my entire career!

How many years have you been working in Christian education, and how long have you been working at Grand Rapids Christian?

I have been working in Christian education for 38 years, and I have been working at Grand Rapids Christian for 12 years.

Do you have a favorite year that you worked or a favorite memory? What made this stand out in your mind?

Spending time outdoors with my students has always been a passion. One year my 2nd-grade class reenacted the story of Pilgrim's Progress outdoors in the woods. Sloshing through the "slough of despond" and exploring the "dungeon of despair" gave the students an opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for the allegory.  In the midst of the muck and in the darkness of a fruit cellar, the students were able to gain a better understanding of the journey of the Christian life. Teaching language arts through the lens of Christian faith and Biblical truth has been a favorite aspect of my career.   

Tell about a moment in your career that you will never forget, possibly at an event or with a student or co-worker.

I remember clearly the moment when God impressed upon my heart the importance of teaching early childhood education. He called me to hang out with the most important people in His kingdom. Early childhood outdoor education became my passion. Psalm 9:1-2 became my theme. "I will praise you, O Lord, with all of my heart. I will tell of all of your wonders! I will rejoice and be glad in you. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High." Nothing gives me more delight than introducing children to the Creator of wonders!

Tell about your most significant learning experience either from a colleague, student, parent, or Professional Development Day.

Recently a parent shared with me an update about her daughter, a former student of mine. This student from RCS is now a high school student at GRCHS. She is an honor student. She is passionate about her faith and about fulfilling the Great Commission. She is eager to live a life that honors her Savior. She has determined to accept the responsibility of being a servant of Jesus Christ without compromising Truth. I was humbled to realize that each seed planted, watered, and nurtured in the heart of a young child is a part of God's plan. He gives the growth. Like my students, I am HIS workmanship, "created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do." (Ephesians 2:10) My students continue to teach me to be faithful to God's calling in each season of life.

What are you looking forward to, or what is your next adventure?

I'm looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren. I'm ready for more adventures, but I'm not sure what that looks like just yet.

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