Have you ever heard the song “Let Them Be Little” by Billy Dean? If not you should look it up, but not before grabbing a Kleenex! As a preschool teacher for ten years, an Early Childhood Coordinator for three, and a mom of a senior and a freshman, I stand firmly by those lyrics.
In general, preschool is the new kinder, kinder is the new first, and so on and so forth. With re-enrollment right around the corner, many families are deciding where to enroll their child in preschool or school. Preschools offer various approaches to early education, all promoting the benefits of their particular programs. Our program is designed to engage students in fun, play-based activities while at the same time, incorporating developmentally appropriate, educational lessons that will prepare them for kindergarten.
One thing I love about TCA’s preschool department is it offers the perfect balance of teacher led learning, direct instruction and play! But the best part is… it is all done with CHRIST at the center!
For example, our Horizon curriculum is based on the most perfect source available, the Bible. We begin the year studying who God is and how He loves us. We continue learning about the world around us through the viewpoint of our Creator. Lessons begin with a Bible concept and flow into activities and academic subjects including social studies, language arts, math, phonics and science. So, while all preschool students learn that trees give us food to eat, we praise the One who created the trees, the apples, and people that grow the apple trees… etc.
A normal morning in a TCA PK classroom may include the teacher taking 15-20 minutes to introduce to the class to a new skill, concept or theme such as the letter “a” and the /a/ sound. Students are not expected or encouraged to sit still for long periods of time. Following whole group instruction, students divide into groups which rotate from a play-based activities to learning activities. Learning activities consist of 3-4 students, with the teacher giving those students direct instruction. These activities are hands-on and engaging and might include hiding objects that start with “a” in sand or rice, instructing students to see how many they can find and name (with guidance). Students not participating in the learning activity at that time are playing in centers where every activity and object placed in the space has a purpose, adds to the learning, and helps scaffold information across the learning domains. For letter “a,” they love using their imagination in the apple orchard, picking apples and baking apple pies as well as participating in making REAL applesauce to enjoy with their friends.
It truly does seem like only a couple of short years ago that my daughter, now a senior was learning her abc’s and making applesauce without a care in the world. AS the lyrics in the song I mentioned earlier state… Give them hope, give them praise, give them love, every day. Let em cry, let em giggle, let them sleep in the middle. Oh, just let them be little. So innocent, a precious soul, you turn around. It’s time to let them go.
Let them be little…
One of the most interesting (and potentially divisive) subjects to study in theology is the topic of church government. Over the last twenty centuries, Christians have developed several forms of church leadership. The Episcopal Form relies on a distinct organization which includes bishops and other titled clergy while the Presbyterian Form relies on a hierarchy of elders, with a “session” of laymen governing local congregations and a “presbytery” leading groups of churches in a region, while a “general assembly” operates at the national level. The Congregational Form consists of mostly autonomous local churches operating under the authority of a pastor or group of pastors, sometimes with elders and deacons contributing to leadership. Although the Bible does not prescribe any single type of church government, each of these forms has, at the very least, implied examples in Scripture and a long tradition within the history of God’s people. Often, in fact, many churches and denominations (or even non-denominations) operate with a hybrid model in order to try to most effectively minister to the people of that particular congregation.
Now, depending on one’s point of view, this difference of governing forms can either be seen as the genius of the Lord in handling a highly diverse family spread across time, geography, and cultures…or it can be seen as a big old mess. I prefer to think of it in light of the first view, and I admire my brothers and sisters who seek the Lord together in forms which vary significantly from my own. However we understand these groupings of Christians, one thing is certain, the Christian family handles its business with a unity of purpose but not necessarily a unity of practice!
What in the world could help Christians with such distinct practices find common ground in how they approach day to day life? How can we, from the kneeling rail to the Communion tray to the plexi-glass muffled drum set, occupy a common space with a real understanding of the greater unity we are given in Christ? Hymn holders alongside hand raisers, stoles and robes next to jeans and graphic tees…who can bring together people like these? The Holy Spirit, in perfect wisdom, has given us many ways to be unified within the Body. We can work side by side to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We can go out together to minister to our community until the work which Christ has begun in us comes to its completion (Philippians 1:6). And we can come together as a family within a family to share ministry and information and time and effort in the education of our children. We can all be living parts of a Christian school.
Moses’ famous injunction in Deuteronomy 6, that those who follow the Lord should take it as a priority to see that their children are instructed in the truth the Lord has given us…that is to say, all truth that exists…is a virtual manifesto for Christian schooling. Church iconography was an early form of educating a largely illiterate Christian population, using pictures rather than letters to pass down the Bible’s great narratives to the next generation. An explosion of literacy like the world had never seen followed the Reformation in the 1500’s as both Protestants and Roman Catholics insisted on the ability of common people to read the hundreds of doctrinal pamphlets which flew off printing presses. In its earliest organized forms in America, education was centered around a common literacy in the Bible. C.S. Lewis stated, “One of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself.” The word “doctrine” is from Latin and simply means “teaching.” Any way we consider it, education and Christianity go hand in hand.
And who are these Christians doing all this teaching and learning, all this advancing and educating? They are us, all of us, in our families and homes. Whatever our households look like, however intact or chaotic or small or numerous they may be, the Christians who are to ensure understanding for our young ones are the Christians looking back at us in the mirror. The home produces the environment in which we grow, the church provides the environment for our edification, and the school is the environment in which all we learn is shaped and given context. The Christian home, the Christian church, and the Christian school…a threefold cord is not easily broken. Where can this amazingly diverse group of people in all its various forms and locations find unity and strength, understanding and truth? In the education of the hearts and minds the Lord has given us, an education designed to sanctify and unify and to make disciples who carry the Gospel to the nations. At the kitchen table, the Communion Table, and the school desk…we find our places in the Body of Christ.
Welcome back to school Eagle Nation!
We are excited about the upcoming challenges and opportunities that await us this year as we move from TAPPS 3A to TAPPS 4A.
As we start the new school year, I wanted to introduce some new coaches you will see on campus.
- John Harris is our new head cross country coach and has really prepared our team for this season.
- Although Dayton Sheridan is not new to TCA, he is transitioning to our head varsity basketball coach this year. We are looking forward to continuing the success of our Varsity team under his leadership.
- Colton Culberhouse is teaching in both the high school and middle school as well as coaching junior high football, girls junior high basketball and high school track.
All of these coaches bring a freshness and energy to our teams that will help us compete in our new classification.
If you have not already done so, please consider being a part of our Booster Club. The Booster Club provides vital financial and volunteer support to the TCA athletic programs. Booster Club funds meet the needs for game day expenses, uniforms, equipment and even provide the “extras” to take our athletic teams to the next level.
You can find more information on each of the TCA Booster Club supporter levels here.
You can now sign up & pay online here.
Plan to come out & support our Fall sports at one of the games or meets below through the month of September.
Full schedules can be found here:
Athletics is a gift of from God. God uses these experiences to grow us. Let's have a great year in 2018-2019!
TCA Athletic Director
Every year, our governing body TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) hands out the Henderson Cup. This cup represents the best overall athletic program in each classification. After the winter sports session, we were ranked 5th. With the success of our spring sports, I am certain we will move up in the rankings. It’s been an exciting spring season for TCA athletics. All 6 of the high school spring sports teams have experienced a high level of success.
This year, we were able to field a golf team. Three members of the team were able to able to advance past the district qualifier and compete at state. State qualifiers were sophomore Zach Godbey, junior Hanna Hordynski & freshman Emma Bayles.
The tennis team played in a tough district and were able to advance two singles players to State: junior Hannah Bell and senior Zach Givens.
The TCA Clay Target team had another successful year. At the State meet last weekend the following athletes received awards:
- Jack Sims won third place in the JV in a 3 way shoot-off.
- The squad of Nash Carlson, Cash Hicks and McKenna Kelley won 3rd place in the Intermediate/Entry skeet squad award.
- McKenna Kelley won 3rd place in the Intermediate/Entry Ladies division.
- Merril Stanfield won 2nd place in the Intermediate/Advanced Ladies division.
- Max Skogsberg won 2nd place in the Intermediate/Entry division.
- Wes Roddie won 3rd place in the Intermediate/Advanced division.
- Jack Sims won 3rd place in the JV division.
- Merril Stanfield won 3rd place in the Intermediate/Advanced Ladies division.
- Katelyn M. won 2nd place in the JV Ladies division.
Our Eagle baseball team took 2nd in a tough district and finished their season last Friday in the Area game against a very talented and hard hitting El Paso Faith team.
The Lady Eagles softball team battled it out for the final district playoff spot. This is the first time in recent history the team has made the playoffs in TAPPS. They played a very difficult non-district schedule to get them ready for the playoffs. They will play their bi-district playoff game tonight versus Dallas Lakehill Prep.
Both the boys and girls track programs have excelled at District, Regionals and State this year. Our boys finished 1st and our girls finished 2nd at District. Our boys finished 3rd and our girls finished 4th at Regionals. At State, the boys placed 2nd and the girls placed 13th overall.
Many of our individuals and relays placed in the top 5 in state. They are:
- 100 Meter Dash - Riley Ownby, 4th place
- 4x100m relay team of Marlie Daniels, Lauren Young, Jordan Diomede & Riley Ownby finished in 5th place.
- 4x200m relay team of Erin Kalbfleisch, Lauren Young, Jordan Diomede & Riley Ownby finished in 6th place.
- Triple Jump 3A - Cody Athey, 4th place
- 100 Meter Dash 3A - Josh Schardt, 3rd place
- 200 Meter Dash 3A - Garrett Green, 3rd place
- 400 Meter Dash 3A - Garrett Green, 1st place
- 4x100m relay team of Cody Athey, Caleb Chesney, Preston Gist & Josh Schardt finished in 2nd place.
- 4x200m relay team of Cody Athey, Caleb Chesney, Preston Gist & Josh Schardt finished in 1st place.
- 4x400m relay team of Malen Baldridge, Max Perales, Mason Hornick & Garrett Green finished in 1st place.
Although our success on the field is something to be proud of; more important than that is the way our athletes and coaches have competed. They have represented our school and our Savior in way that a Christian Athlete should.
I look forward to many more athletic accomplishments in coming years!