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Mike Vander Vliet was called to teach 5th grade at Brookfield Christian School after graduating in 2003 from Trinity Christian College, where he majored in elementary education and minored in science. A pastor’s son, Mike grew up with a family of 7 living first in northwest Iowa, then Hudsonville, MI—where he attended Unity Christian High School—and Jenison, MI.
Besides his love for working with kids, Mike enjoys sports of all kinds, camping, hiking, reading, movies, Scrabble, and other board games. Mr. Vander Vliet is married and has three kids. He and his family attend Brookfield Christian Reformed Church.
One of Mike’s favorite Bible verses is Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” That verse is special to Mike “because in spite of all of our sin, God still rejoices over us with singing and love. What an awesome gift!”
“My mission coming into the teaching profession was to glorify God in all that I do in the classroom and in whatever situation he puts me in. I feel God has called me to teach at BCS to glorify His name and teach the students here about His amazing love.
To fully teach the students of this love, I need to be like a mirror that reflects Christ’s love. I must strive to have a classroom environment that every student feels comfortable in. I need to reach every student and get to know their individual needs to help them succeed. My task is to provide them with classroom activities and lessons that are stimulating, motivating, relevant, and understandable. As a teacher, I need to know if they are in need of extra help or if they need to be challenged more. Either way, I should always look for growth in the students. Love doesn’t always mean helping them with an assignment, sometimes it means showing them their errors or times that they are out of line. All of this cannot be done by my own strength, but only by being connected to Jesus Christ our Lord.
As a teacher in a classroom of young minds, I want to equip them with the tools they need to succeed. Obviously, the students need to learn Math, Language, Science, Social Studies, Writing, Spelling, and even Physical Education. Underlying all of those subjects is an attitude and belief system that will empower them for the future. It is hard to teach a humble and respectful attitude, but modeling one is something that I will strive to show my students and hopefully teach them in the process. I will show respect to each student and treat him or her as the precious child of God that they are by valuing their input in the classroom and encouraging their growth for output in God’s kingdom.
As a teacher in a Christian school, I aim to show my students that I am a Christian everyday. In all subject areas, I will strive to show them how God’s kingdom is related to their studies. I will teach from a Christian perspective and prepare them for a future in which they can shine like stars in a dark world. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 says, ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man (or woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’