Jami Bicknell is a third-grade teacher at Legacy Christian Academy. She has worked in the field of education for over 23 years. She graduated from Texas A&M University and has taught in both public and private schools in grades 3-6. Jami’s favorite part of teaching at LCA is when a student comes to know Jesus as Savior and Lord and she has the privilege of rejoicing with the angels.
Driven to Educate
I have always loved educating young minds, and getting to spend the day with students truly energizes my soul. I spent fifteen years teaching in public schools, and I really enjoyed it! While it was challenging, I made it my mission, and my reason for getting up each morning. It brought a smile to my face to know that I was giving my students a solid foundation in literacy, mathematics, science, and history, all with a ton of fun thrown in. I attended training seminars and kept abreast of the latest education articles and trends. I believed I was giving my students everything they needed… until my eyes were opened to Christian education with a Biblical Worldview.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My family had a “Christian education.” As a kid growing up, we lived right across the street from the church and we were there every time the doors were open. Every. Single. Time. I’m pretty sure I remember my dad being in charge of turning on the heat and the lights each Sunday morning because we were always the first ones there. At church, I memorized verses, learned Bible stories, led small groups, went on mission trips, and helped out wherever I was needed. I put my faith in Christ at an early age and was blessed by mentors and teachers who poured into my life. When the time came for me to grow my own family, I knew I wanted that same experience for them and so I have raised my family with that same mindset. If the church was open, the Bicknells would be there.
Little did I know that my education world and my Christian world would unite as I walked the halls of Legacy Christian Academy eight years ago. To me, it’s like chocolate and peanut butter. Sure you can have them both separately, but you don’t know what you are missing until you mix the two together. Though you might not share my appreciation of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, let me explain how these two loves of my life are now one divine combination.
I have the privilege of teaching a class of third graders. Let me give you a peek into my classroom and open the door, even if just a bit, so you can see what elementary education looks like from a Biblical worldview.
A Day in the life…
Students arrive. My prayer is that the Lord will help me to guide these young kids today.
My students excitedly recite the pledges and then put on the full armor of God (being fully dressed in His armor is a must).
We sing a praise song and I often find myself crying happy tears because these kids really know what it means to worship. After we share prayer requests and praises, we get started with our academic day.
First up is math. The topic for today is area and perimeter. We begin by playing a math game and then we build models to solve problems. The discussion soon evolved into how God always has a plan and we just need to let Him take control and be the Builder of our lives.
Reading time. We are finishing up an A-Z Mystery book. The class is writing down clues, comparing notes on suspects, and making predictions. As we get to the last page, a student raises a hand and says, “Mrs. Bicknell, that character reminds me of David,” and proceeds to explain how God used David to do mighty things for His kingdom even with his mistakes and flaws. Wow, they are really connecting the Bible stories and applying them!
Time for language arts. We are working on opinion writing and their assignment is to convince me to let them get a class pet (a dream of just about every elementary student). We discuss that God sometimes says no to our prayers because He has an even better plan for our lives. Another hand goes up, “That’s just like the story of the missionary Amy Carmichael and how God didn’t give her the blue eyes she really wanted because she would one day minister to the people of India.” Gulp… another tear! They are really understanding this!
Now for recess and lunch (everyone’s favorite). After thanking God for the delicious food, there are funny jokes about dogs, talk of yesterday’s football game, and a lunchtime poll of who likes T-Rexes and who prefers pandas. (I just love 9-year-olds!)
Another hand goes up, “Mrs. Bicknell, I heard you lost your phone. We should pray so God will help you find it.” A little embarrassed because I didn’t think of that. A prayer is said, and my phone is found in the scraps of construction paper. The class rejoices loudly!
Lunchtime is over and it’s time to get focused for the second half of the day during “TAWG” (Time Alone With God). My students read from their Bibles, look up scripture in a Sword Drill, and then share what was learned during this quiet time. The insight of children is truly amazing! They read it and they claim it! There is no shortage of faith here.
On to science. A lesson over the rock cycle using Starburst candy gets everyone energized. We transform the rocks from metamorphic to igneous. As we progress to sedimentary rocks and press our candy rocks together, we stare at pictures of the Grand Canyon in awe and thank God for his beautiful rock creations.
Time for history. Books open and we read about the life of Harriet Tubman. Students comment how God gave Mrs. Tubman perseverance, courage, and determination to help others escape through the Underground Railroad. Another hand. Another connection, “Mrs. Bicknell, that reminds me of how God used Moses to lead the people out of Egypt.” More heads nod in agreement and then groans are heard when I say it’s time to close our history books for the day. These kids love to learn!
Bible time is at the end of the day, but let’s be real. Bible time has been all throughout the day. God’s Word has been woven through each and every subject, topic, and discussion.
Students leave. I thank the Lord for teaching me today through these amazing children!
To me, elementary education and Biblical Worldview are the perfect combination. But don’t take my word for it, start combining your favorite thing with God. Step back, let Him move, and prepare to see God show up in a mighty way!
Legacy Christian Academy is Frisco's preeminent Pre-K through 12 Christian school committed to educating students in a college preparatory environment balanced in academics, athletics, and fine arts–all within the context of a biblical worldview. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.