by Maddie Schaafsma, Class of 2018
It’s approximately 90 miles from Griffith, Indiana, to Timothy Christian Schools. Mr. Ken Scholma, a 5th grade teacher, makes the drive each day.
But why drive that far just for a job?
According to Mr. Scholma, teaching at Timothy is not just any job. It is a place where he can not only teach the subjects he loves, but also be a Christian role model to his students. He is able to help individually shape and form each student’s life, and to him, that is what makes the drive completely worth it.
Walk into his classroom at any given time and you will most likely find the students doing a hands-on project. “To give the students a solid education, get their attention and have a lasting impact, you have to constantly reinvent yourself,” Mr. Scholma says. “You have to take a step outside the box and always think of something wilder to do.”
Mr. Scholma was a youth pastor in Indiana for seven years. He loved working with kids, but the schedule was too hard on his family. He felt the Lord was calling him into teaching and he decided to go back and pursue a degree in elementary education.
But the Lord was not only calling him to teaching — he was calling Mr. Scholma to Timothy Christian Schools. For the past seven years, Mr. Scholma taught 4th grade. But this year he switched to 5th grade to teach the two subjects he is most passionate about: social studies and science.
Even though the drive to Timothy is long, the student’s infectious energy and willingness to learn makes it worthwhile. For Mr. Scholma, the most rewarding part of teaching is when he hears a student say: “Wow. I never knew that before!”
Mr. Scholma also appreciates the faculty, staff, and administration. Because they are more than just colleagues — they are a community. “The teachers constantly rally around each other,” Mr. Scholma says. “The teachers get support from the administration and each other and when this happens you can accomplish great things.”
And great things are happening in 5th grade.
Mr. Scholma hasn’t forgotten his past students either. Each one has made an impact on him. The names of all his students are scribbled over his podium in markers and glitter. He can point to each one and remember something about them. Not only does Mr. Scholma make a lasting impact on his students, but the students leave a lasting impact on him, too.
“This community is something really special,” Mr. Scholma says. “We share a unifying vision of creating Christ-like disciples that will change the world.”