Mrs. Rachel Kooiker, Middle School ELA, Social Studies, 6th Grade Bible
This will be my first year teaching at Allendale Christian Schools. I am very excited to be a part of the ACS family. I have a wonderful husband, Drew, and together we have one daughter, who is also beginning her journey here at ACS in the preschool. We live in Hudsonville, attend Bauer CRC, and have a rather large collection of animals that includes horses, dogs, chickens, and pigs. I grew up in Coopersville, and I enjoy reading, writing, running, and riding horses in my down time.
I graduated with a BA in English/Psychology from Grand Valley State University in 2006, and with a MA in Curriculum/Instruction in 2013. I participated in the Lake Michigan Writing Project in 2007 and am a literacy-based teacher consultant with that organization. I have also completed extensive project-based learning training. I am passionate about literacy, civics, and I am committed to constantly working to improve my skills as an educator through participation and work with many professional organizations, such as the Michigan Reading Association and the National Council for Teachers of English.
Humans are incredibly valuable because they have been made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).
Every human being is equipped by God with unique gifts (Romans 12:4-8) to use in the service of others.
From these foundations, the purpose of education is to value these gifts and to develop both these and a sense of purpose for use in the service of others and ultimately, God. Therefore, education should equip students to go on to live joyful, productive lives with the skills necessary to contribute to their families and communities. Mostly, though, a Christian education should be linked to aligning our learning and lives to God’s purposes in the world. Much of my teaching approach leans on project-based learning, a pedagogical approach that is consistent with the Biblical anthropology in that it achieves the following:
PBL utilizes, and therefore values, our individual gifts.
PBL allows students to uncover meaningful information, rather than prepare for tests.
PBL is about collaboration and sharing one’s gifts with others.
PBL encourages meaningful connections with and service to our larger communities.
PBL involves students in “real life” today — “not just to prepare them for ‘real life.’” This empowers students to see how they might continue to change the world for God’s glory.