Chenaye Sutton recalls a beautiful moment in a Maranatha kindergarten classroom. The Elementary Assistant Principal was working in her office across the hall from the class when she heard beautiful music. “I was sitting at my desk working and I heard the children just start singing worship songs!” she remembers. “The kindergarteners were singing ‘I’ve Got the Joy in my Heart’!” At Maranatha’s Christ-centered kindergarten program, scenes like these are common. We strive to educate, nurture and train students for Godliness and excellence in our kindergarten classrooms.
The kindergarten teachers lean on Luke 1:80, the child learned and grew strong in spirit, Mrs. Sutton explains. “The kindergarten year is a huge milestone for children — spiritually, physically, mentally and socially,” she says. “It’s so important for these young children to have a strong foundation to grow in Christ. The Maranatha kindergarten teachers do a really great job of developing the whole child. Everything we do is about knowledge and faith, and teaching God’s wisdom is the ultimate goal.”
Academic excellence in the kindergarten classroom is rooted in faith at Maranatha. “Our kindergarten teachers work diligently to give our students a storehouse of spiritual treasure. Our children learn all the disciplines, and academics are important to us. But through it all, we’re presenting Biblical truths.”
Mrs. Sutton points to the integration of nature into the classroom as just one example of the faith focus. “When a teacher brought in caterpillars and the children got to observe from the caterpillar stage to the butterfly stage, the children were just enamored,” she says. “The children are gaining that understanding of who God is, how the world was created and who created it.”
This becomes particularly significant in teaching children how to treat each other, Mrs. Sutton shares. “At the kindergarten level, this is their whole world! So we’re helping them learn how to work together, how to play games together, how to communicate with each other and how to care for each other well.
In many kindergarten classrooms, technology is a key focus. But Maranatha teachers don’t rely purely on technology to accomplish their goals, Mrs. Sutton shares. “I love that our teachers don’t depend solely on technology, but they use it as a supplement for their learning. We vet every app, every item and every tool. The use of technology is structured so it enhances what they’re learning in the traditional sense. Technology is important, but never the priority,” she says.
“Because we have high standards and expectations both spiritually and academically, we’re constantly moving forward and trying new things for our students,” Mrs. Sutton says. Maranatha maintains a low student-to-teacher ratio in kindergarten classrooms so every student’s individual needs can be met. If a student isn’t meeting objectives, teachers step in immediately to make a plan for student success.
“As our children are learning and growing, we’re guiding them in God’s wisdom as well,” Mrs. Sutton smiles. “Our kindergarten teachers are always working to keep God as the center of the picture, bringing their classrooms to life.”Read More