We’re excited to kick off this series, “Getting to know our teachers”, with Mr. Joel Grulke. Mr. Grulke is our principal and 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teacher at Our Savior Lutheran School.
Can you give me a brief description of your classroom and objectives for this school year?
Our 6th-8th grade classroom is filled with students who will soon be entering high school and a world that will continue to challenge their faith and their morality, as well as produce exciting new discoveries and advancements in technology along with a changing workforce.
Our objectives are to continue to prepare our students for these new experiences and challenges. We do this by equipping them with God’s Word of truth to guide them in decision-making and giving them the necessary academic tools, skills and opportunities to see how the Lord could use them to make a difference in the lives of people they meet by sharing the Gospel.
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
This passage is a favorite of mine as it reminds me that while we may think we have nothing meaningful to contribute to various situations in life, God may be leading us to see how He may use us to accomplish His work – especially the proclaiming of the Gospel to save souls for eternity.
As I look at children who may not have a strong self-confidence or see themselves as not being very good at anything, I have the privilege of helping them see how God may have gifted them, and how He might use them and their gifts to carry out His work of spreading the Good News of Christ, our Savior.
What inspires you about teaching?
What inspires me most about teaching is seeing God’s children respond to His Word and show their love for Him with the talents He has given to them.
You are a cookie. What kind would you be and why?
I would be a chocolate chip cookie. Not just because it is my favorite cookie, but because it brings back a flood of memories of yummy, warm, chocolaty smells in the kitchen, chocolate messes on my hands and face, my mother letting me add ingredients, helping stir the batter, scooping the batter onto the cookie sheet, teaching me how to make them soft and mushy or thin and crispy, and, of course, letting me sample the batter as well as the final product.
Learning and experiencing at its finest!
When you were in fourth grade, what did you want to be when you grow up?
When I was in the fourth grade I wanted to be a pastor. In fact, I wanted to be pastor since Kindergarten all the way through my sophomore year in high school. But when I was in fourth grade, I had my first male teacher who had a desire to teach us science through various hands-on failures and successes. He showed us, or should I say privileged us, to see God’s amazing wonders of creation and the laws He enacted to guide the world He created as well as encouraging us to never give up trying to learn something.
As I look back as a teacher today, I see the importance of having both male and female teachers to guide and encourage children to discover and use the gifts that God has given them to serve Him and one another. While I was not a great scientist in the fourth grade – and still am humbled by the vastness of all God placed in our world – I did grow in my faith and understanding of what a marvelous and loving God we have as He cares for us and governs this world for our benefit and blessing. Our children need to know this!