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What's Up Magazine

Lauren Goetz

Jan 08, 2018 12:58PM ● By Caley Breese

Photo by Tony Lewis, Jr.

Lighthouse Christian Academy, Stevensville

Years Teaching Overall: 5

Years Teaching at Lighthouse: 4

Currently teaching: 5th grade - Math, Spelling, Bible, Literature, History, Geography, Grammar, Writing, and Science (and Home Economics after school)

Proudest teaching moment: “There isn’t one particular moment that stands out in my mind because there are so many moments spent with these children that make my heart beam. It’s the moments when I’m recounting a historical event, and I have every set of eyes glued to mine with sheer excitement and anticipation. It’s the moments I announce it’s time to go home and a loud groan of disappointment echoes back as if it to say they would rather stay in my classroom and learn. It’s the moment a student is moved, inspired, heard, loved, and tears form in their eyes, as I fight them back in my own. It’s the final moment a class leaves my room for the last time at the end of the year, and I can see the way their hearts and minds were changed, that I feel the most privileged to be a teacher.”

Teaching Philosophy: “My main goal as a teacher is to reach their heart before their mind. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly challenge the students in academics, but I do so by hopefully sparking a joy and curiosity in their heart so they are motivated to discover the world around them with a newly awakened desire for what is true, good, and beautiful. I see myself as a simple extension of the student’s family and the parent’s Biblical calling to raise their children in the ‘discipline and instruction of the Lord’ [Ephesians 6:4]. It is my goal to nourish their souls on the true, good, and beautiful so they become better critical thinkers, communicators, and ultimately wise contributors to society, who know God intimately and seek a life of virtue.”

Toughest challenge facing educators: “I think one of the greatest issues facing educators is the lack of fortitude developed in the students. When something worthwhile, yet challenging and time consuming is placed in front of them, they shut down. Technology feeds our need for immediate satisfaction, and diminishes student’s ability to work hard over a long period of time to reach a desired goal. Our homes revolve entirely around the children, giving them a skewed sense of reality and an inflated sense of entitlement. They have yet to be trained in the way to logically and winsomely respond to claims opposing to their own. Teachers today face the difficult challenge of developing a sense of fortitude in the students, by providing them with ample opportunities to face challenging assignments and opposing ideas within the safe space of the classroom. It is certainly a daunting, yet imperative, task that lies ahead.”

"Mrs. Goetz, who is an alumnus of LCA, never tires of working to refine the mission and vision of LCA. She identifies a need at our school and not only proposes a creative and lovely way of meeting the need, but she usually implements the plan herself! This year, she leads our school-wide daily devotions each morning in the sanctuary. She has chosen a virtue for each month and carefully matched up appropriate hymns, activities, and Bible verses that challenge and relate to each student in the room—including all of our kindergarteners! Her classroom is a reflection of who she is: creative, welcoming, organized, warm, and inspiring. Teaching modern American History, Mrs. Goetz plans some of the most engaging and looked-forward-to field trips that are legendary at Lighthouse: Pioneer Day, which takes the children back in time to cook their food over an open fire, dye fabric using berries and seeds, dip candles, and more. In short, Mrs. Goetz pours herself into her students, the school community, and the parents that she guides each year, and the ripples of her dedication reach throughout our building each and every day.”