When I tell people that I taught Bible History in a public school for 13 years, I am usually met with a substantial amount of disbelief. The typical response goes something like this, “You taught Bible History in a public school!? I’ve never heard of that before! Is that even legal?” Since it’s very plausible you’re thinking something very similar, I thought I’d share about those issues in my next few blog posts.
What’s funny is I had never heard of the Bible being taught in schools either until I actually started teaching it. You see, I graduated from college with a major in biblical studies because God had put this passion in the core of my being—if I could study and teach God’s Word, and get paid for it, that would be the greatest “job” in the world! But as graduation approached, and I sought God’s face and direction with increasing intensity, I was convinced that He was not calling me at that time to be a pastor, youth pastor, or missionary, which severely limited the practical application of my newly attained, quite expensive college degree! Not to mention, it was pretty concerning to my new bride who was wondering how her new husband was going to support his family with a degree he had no obvious use for. To be honest, I had no idea! Although I did not know where I was being led, I loved and trusted the One who was leading.
Fast forward a couple of years as I worked a couple of odd jobs to pay the bills, while still seeking God’s direction.
One year in mid-July, I arrived home from a pretty rough day at work and heard a news anchor on TV say, “Hamilton County is in a crisis! They need teachers! They will allow you to teach with a temporary teacher’s license if you just come and teach.”
That sounded a lot better than my current “waiting for direction” job, so I figured I would apply and maybe teach P.E., because in my naive thinking, anybody could do that.
I was interviewed thereafter by a very nice and professional lady, a Dr. H. She looked over my resume and said, “I see here that you have a major in biblical studies.” “Yes ma’am,” I said. She continued, “So I assume that you’re applying for the Bible History position?” She looked at me, and I looked at her and said, “Yes, I am!” As of that very moment, that’s exactly what I was applying for! Up to that time I had never heard of teaching Bible in a public school.
After additional interviews, I got the job in early August and stepped into a high school classroom with no real clue as to what I was doing! But after a month or so a few things became very obvious. One, I loved it. Two, I think I was good at it. (I had never thought of myself as a school teacher, let alone a good one but it was a natural fit. Isn’t it amazing how God knows us so much better than we know ourselves?) And most amazing of all, there I was teaching God’s Word and getting paid for it—in a public high school no less! Isn’t our God amazing?
How is it legal? Come back next time for the answer!
For an audience of One,