Fighting complacency: MU student takes high schoolers on a field trip to view MU’s Torah scroll

Typically, high schoolers step onto MU’s campus for visit events. But today, the 53 freshmen from the Old Testament survey course at Westside Christian High School were here for class. Their teacher? Hebrew and educational ministries major Julia Glanz.

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As part of her educational ministries senior practicum, Glanz teaches twice a week at Westside. She tests and improves her lesson planning, grading and front-of-the-classroom skills in the freshman survey course and a Christian Leadership class for seniors.

For today’s lesson, though, Glanz thought it’d be helpful to switch things up by instructing in a new environment. “Studying the Bible in the classroom is a huge gift, but there’s a danger that students will become apathetic toward it as a result of the routine schedule,” she explains.

For Glanz, teaching the Word of God is exciting, and she wanted the field trip to transfer that excitement to her students. “Scripture is dynamic — it’s not this dead book sitting in front of us,” she says. “I wanted this to be one more experience that fights complacency.”

During class, Glanz introduced multiple topics of discussion and passed out worksheets. But the icing on the cake was treating her students to a viewing of Multnomah’s ancient Torah scroll.

Glanz hopes the experience created memorable learning. “Now, every time the students hear ‘Hebrew,’ ‘scroll,’ or even an ad for Multnomah on the radio, it will trigger the lessons they learned on this trip,” she says.

At the end of the day, Glanz was encouraged not only by her students’ engagement, enthusiasm and probing questions, but also by their depth of thinking.

“[What I’ve] learned today has inspired me to spend more time reading my Bible and looking into Scripture with a new perspective,” one student told her.

Another referred to the Torah scroll, declaring, “I see God’s power in it.”

Like her students, Glanz also gained some insight. “[The fieldtrip] was a safe place for me to learn and grow and struggle [as a teacher],” she says. The event provided a unique way to hone her skills as an educator while further equipping her for a career in Bible teaching.

The support Glanz received from professors only accelerated her growth as leader. And her classes have been key to her success. “The professors are willing to go the extra mile,” she says. “No class has been a waste.”

November 18, 2015 | News