West Michigan Christian Schools Blog

Archive for Kindergarten. Teacher Tuesday

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with New Era Christian’s Courtney Wolffis

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Courtney Wolffis of New Era Christian School (PK-8th grade)

Phil Morse, NEC’s Administrator shares his thoughts about Courtney:

There isn’t a teacher more centered than Mrs. Wolffis – centered on Christ and student learning while letting kids be kids.

Mrs. Courtney Wolffis – NEC Kindergarten Teacher

Q: How many years have you taught there?

A: This is my sixth year teaching at New Era Christian School! My husband David also taught at NEC (3rd/4th) for two years but is now a full-time firefighter for Holland city.

Q: What classes/grades do you teach?

A: Kindergarten. I did teach a Kindergarten/1st Grade split one year and it was fun to have some of my students back again.

Q: Do you have kids there? Graduated from there?

A: My kids are not in school yet. I have a 20-month-old daughter and I am due with my son in June. I did graduate from two member schools, though — Grand Haven Christian School and Western Michigan Christian High School (2007).

A Mackinac get-away in Fall of 2019 with Courtney’s husband David.

Q: What’s your favorite teaching moment(s) to date?

A: I couldn’t possibly pick just one moment. Although, I look forward to Kindergarten graduation every year. It is such a wonderful display of all the work my students and I have accomplished together over the year. While it is incredibly hard to say goodbye, my heart always wells with pride for them while they sing and share moments of our year together.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of a student who came back after graduation and contacted you?

A: At this point, I haven’t taught long enough for one of my students to graduate from 8th Grade. I do love seeing them in the hall every year though! I still have many students who give me weekly hugs and bring me presents. Last year’s Kindergarten class has been especially thoughtful. They love leaving me surprise notes and drawings!

Exploring Acadia Park in Maine in 2019 with David and little Charlotte.

Q: What do you love most about your job and why?

A: By far, the thing I love most about my job is seeing students grow. In their faith, in their social abilities, and academically. The depth of their ability to think and learn grows tremendously during the Kindergarten year. I’m totally biased but I think I teach the best grade!

My daughter Charlotte is 21 months old.
She’ll turn two in June 2020, the same week our son is due!

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

A: The best part of my day (currently) is teaching Science. It’s not something I’ve totally loved in the past but with a small class, we’ve really been able to dig deeper into lessons. My students and I have a fun routine where we pretend to get on our science gear before every lesson.

We are also connecting our learning to one of the Teaching for Transformation through lines, being Creation Enjoyers. They ask me every day now, “When do we get to be creation enjoyers again?! Is it science time yet?” I love that!

Q: How specifically has the Lord gifted you as an individual and how does that help you as a teacher? 

A: I believe the Lord has gifted me with the ability to be flexible. In my teaching, that allows me to look at certain situations through a variety of lenses.

I’m not afraid to try something new if it’s not working for my class or even just for one student. I get excited about individualizing my teaching whenever I can.

Q: If there was anything you could change about your job, what would it be? 

A: I’d love to be closer to the school. I currently live in Grand Haven and drive about 50 minutes one way to get to NECS! It can be difficult to be that far away from the school community.

David, Charlotte and Courtney Wolffis.

Q: What’s your specific favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

A: Well-water from her home.“Ice cold is the best”

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job? 

A: Good leadership and an extremely tight-knit school community. I feel so supported by everyone! I’ve truly become friends with a lot of the parents in our school over the years too. That makes a huge difference in their ability to trust me and my ability to successfully teach their children.

As a beloved faculty member, Courtney is a part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  

A Small Token of Appreciation

Thank you Courtney, from all of your colleagues and school families at WMCS!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you!

It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop, Robin!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious if you should switch your kids to WMC or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? Time to start thinking about a school system partner.

LEARN MORE about partnering with WMCS for PK-12 Christian education!

Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Muskegon Christian School’s Kari Bonnema

WMCS Teachers are the BEST!

Teacher Tuesday Spotlights Extraordinary Faculty

CONGRATULATIONS Kari!

Every Tuesday throughout the school year, the West Michigan Christian Schools Collaborative will highlight some of our very special teachers from all five schools.

We have so many gifted faculty members who work tirelessly to train up students at all PK-12th-grade levels. They use their giftedness and teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Kari Bonnema of Muskegon Christian School (PK-6)

Kari Bonnema has been at MCS for 13 years. She teaches Kindergarten and Kindergarten Explorers. Her oldest, McKenna, is a senior at WMC. Her daughter Madison is a freshman at WMC and her twins, Meredith and Mason, are 3rd graders at MCS.

FUN FACT: Kari’s husband Chad has worked at MCS teaching 5th grade since 2011 and they created a program that allows their classes to interact. “Every week we get our classes together for Book Buddies, which is where we partner up a 5th-grader and a Kindergartener to read together.  Kindergarteners read their beginning reading books to the 5th graders and then the 5th graders read a book or books to them.  They all love it and look forward to seeing each other,” explains Kari.

Every week we get our classes together for Book Buddies, which is where we partner up a 5th-grader and a Kindergartener to read together.  Kindergarteners read their beginning reading books to the 5th graders and then the 5th graders read a book or books to them.  They all love it and look forward to seeing each other

Q & A w/ Kari

Kari and her daughter McKenna.

Q: What do you love most about your job and why?

Kari: I have SO many I can’t decide!!   Some of them include:

1) When a parent emailed me to say that her daughter accepted Jesus as her Savior.  She was so excited to share the news with me!

2) When I hear kids singing and humming praise songs as they work.  3) When I am called “Mom” by students and given multiple hugs daily.  I love it!

4) When I see such AMAZING growth from the beginning of the year to the end… it is a gift to share each day with them.

5) When I am called “Mom” by students and given multiple hugs daily.  I love it!

Kari, her daughter Madison, and Kari’s niece Brooke.

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

Kari: I enjoy welcoming each child back to our class each morning.  I am thankful for another day to spend with them. It makes me happy!

When I see such AMAZING growth from the beginning of the year to the end…it is a gift to share each day with them.

Q: How specifically has the Lord gifted you as an individual and how does that help you as a teacher? 

Kari: I love to sing and am quite musical.  I enjoy singing each day with the kiddos and we learn many songs to help remember what we’re learning… from Bible stories and memory verses to fun little songs about coins or birds. I also like to be creative and make up songs, too!

McKenna, Chad, Kari, Mason, Madison and Meredith Bonnema

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job?

Kari: I love the support of families and our fellow MCS staff.  We are all working together for God’s glory and the growth (spiritual, academic, emotional) of the children.  It really is a team approach!

Q: What’s your favorite beverage?

Kari: Chai tea!

 

 

 

 

Feel free to SHOW KARI LOVE & APPRECIATION by treating her to a yummy Chai! 😉

As a beloved faculty member, Kari is part of the heart of WMCS. We are so BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  Join us all in celebrating Kari and the amazing Kingdom work she does at MCS.

Kari, in celebration of YOU and Teacher Tuesday, DIBS! On Resale would like to say “Thank You!” with $10 in DIBS! Dollars! Please check in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this gift!

Did you hear? GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING at DIBS! and $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop!

Recently relocated to a new store in Muskegon, DIBS! On Resale opened its doors in 2012 to benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.