COLUMN: Principal Amy Deffenbacher reflects, shares attributes of small school community

COLUMN: Principal Amy Deffenbacher reflects, shares attributes of small school community

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Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

In her fifth year as campus principal, Amy Deffenbacher shares the privileges and responsibilities of the Fresno Christian community.

I’ve spent considerable time, lately, thinking about what it means to be part of a community. In particular, what does it mean to be in the Fresno Christian Schools community?

We are, in school terms, a small campus. Yet, what we accomplish in a day, week, semester, and school year is pretty remarkable. We truly are committed to educational excellence and, at the end of your time here, you can be assured that your diploma means something as you pursue your next educational steps.

But what about the other parts of being in a small community?

The smallness is why many choose to attend FCS–smaller class sizes, more access to staff, the opportunity to be known. And yet, these qualities can also be the things that we end up struggling with.

Smaller class sizes mean more individual attention. Some students really don’t like it when the teacher talks to them. More access to the staff means that we also have more access to you!

So, yes, we are going to hold you accountable. We will talk to you in the hallways, send you to the office when you are out of dress code, and move you to a different seat when you are disruptive in chapel. Being known means that it will be noticed when the day isn’t going great, or there is conflict. Sometimes that will be used for good, other times it will be uncomfortable.

It can be very challenging to peacefully exist in a small community. In an age where social media and technology have chipped away at our filters, “knowing” about people and events can lead to the spread of misinformation. “Concern for others” can lend itself to gossip. Our proximity to one another, in many ways a gift, can also be a hazard if we do not steward it well.

Talk with each other instead of about each other. Encourage each other to keep up the good work. Slow down for a second and say something nice to someone- it might change the direction of their day and will definitely make your day better! — Principal Amy Deffenbacher

We can look to scripture for the encouragement needed to accept the challenge of honoring God as we live in community with one another.

Paul in Romans 12:18 (NLT) writes, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Matthew writes 12:34 (NLT) that “… whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” Hebrews 10:24 (NLT) suggests “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

These are just a few of the admonishments in scripture for how to live in Christian community so let’s start there. Our goal? Live peacefully with one another. Our strategy? Guard our hearts and choose our words well.

Talk with each other instead of about each other. Encourage each other to keep up the good work. Slow down for a second and say something nice to someone- it might change the direction of their day and will definitely make your day better! Some of my favorite moments on campus come from kneeling down and telling little people that their sparkly shoes (or unicorn sweaters, or superhero backpacks)  are pretty… the smiles they give in return bring joy to my heart.

The privilege of living in community comes with great responsibility. As we continue to choose community, may we also choose to make our community the best that it can be.

For another Feather opinion, read COLUMN: Former Feather editor thanks advisers or check out our latest feature: Student voices in private schools.

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By |2019-02-26T13:54:03+00:00February 26th, 2019|Column, Home Feature 1, Opinions|1 Comment

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Amy Deffenbacher

One Comment

  1. Mackenzie Beckworth
    Mackenzie Beckworth February 27, 2019 at 10:11 am - Reply

    I loved this! Thank you Mrs Deffenbaucher for providing a new and fresh perspective to private school life!

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Fresno Christian Schools - 7280 N. Cedar Ave., Fresno, CA 93720 - 559.229.1695 Facebook Soundcloud Twitter Vimeo Instagram Email SmugMug March 20, 2019 - 06:59 pm