Bold Christian Faith Characterizes Tennessee Public Educator
by Jim Brown
July 26, 2004
(AgapePress) - A ninth-grade English teacher from Memphis, Tennessee, was recently named National Christian Educator of the Year. The honor went to Andrea Darlington, who sponsors "Student Impact" -- a 250-member Christian club -- at her large suburban high school in Germantown.
In the classroom, Darlington says she is very open about her faith and frequently explains biblical allusions in books like Pilgrim's Progress. She says English teachers have a forum that other teachers do not have, and can find in every genre of literature works that reveal biblical truth. The recently honored teacher cites one example.
"I teach subjects like The Tale of Two Cities, where Charles Dickens tells his story of the resurrection, that it's the cross that would cure the ills of France -- and I tell my students that," she explains. "They memorize the Bible verse that's in the book -- 'I am the resurrection and the life, sayeth the Lord' -- and they recite it in class."
Not all Christian teachers in the public realm are as bold as Darlington. She says it is unfortunate that many of her Christian colleagues are too intimidated to share their Christian faith in the classroom. She believes that instead, they should be using the freedom they have to let their students know of their faith.
"I've heard teachers say, 'Oh, I'm so proud of the fact that they don't know that I'm a Christian and they don't know my political scene,'" she shares. Not surprisingly, Darlington believes in a different approach.
"I think you need to let [students] know you're a Christian and let them know that you love [them] because it's Christ in you that enables you to do these things," the Vanderbilt University graduate says.
Because of her opposition to the liberal political agenda of the National Education Association, Darlington started the Memphis chapter of the Christian Educators Association 13 years ago. She has been teaching in Memphis public schools for 17 years.