Matt Sanders

On June 7th – 9th we conducted our 7th annual three-day teacher training conference for the teachers at Riverside School. Each year, this conference is held just before the start of the new school year to inspire them in their own walk with the Lord, to help build their unity as a teaching team, and to assist them to be more effective as teachers and disciplers in the classroom.

Our dual themes this year were, “Seek First the Kingdom of God”, and “Love God, Love People”. Pastors Gerry and Kay, Carly and Annela, Karissa, and I took turns presenting various lectures, discussions, and activities centered around these themes. The teachers are eager learners – this is the only training they receive all year long, and they participate enthusiastically in the conference.

It has been wonderful to see the Lord at work at Riverside school and particularly in this teaching staff. In any Christian school, the teachers are the ones that have the opportunity to bring the reality of Christ into the classroom, and thus impact the students for eternity through their own faith, words, and actions. I’m excited that the current teachers at Riverside school comprise the strongest staff we have ever had! We have several older teachers who are the “pillars” of faith, and many new, younger teachers who love the Lord, and are energetic and enthusiastic about teaching.

As the teaching staff has grown in spiritual strength, the fruit has been obvious. The school has grown from only 238 students in 2011, to over 600 students today. During the three weeks we were there, we had over 100 new admissions! Our principal and headmaster, Kishore, tells me that he and the school enjoy great respect and an excellent reputation in the community. A few years ago, several large corporations set up competing schools nearby, with large budgets and high-tech, digital classrooms. They have drawn away many students from other private schools, but ours is the only one which has continued to grow!

One of our teachers, Smiley, is a personal example of our academic and spiritual strength. As a Riverside student for 12 years, Smiley dreamed of becoming a teacher at her own school. Last year, she completed her Bachelors degree in technology, and returned to teach with us. We are so thrilled to have her, along with a growing number of committed, well-trained young teachers.