Marked by Majesty

CURIOSITY: The passion to go beyond what is already known and motivation to learn, or discover, additional facts or truths. Involves the ability and drive to ask critical and relevant questions and the skill to do research to gain new insights.

The Portrait of Our Ideal Graduate: 16 Habits of the Mind

“My mind is EXPLODING!” one student blurted out.

Another student shouted: “The universe is just SO BIG, I can’t even handle it!” 

My fifth-grade students were immersed in the study of our solar system, galaxy, and universe. That day in class, we discussed all we’d learned thus far. We reflected on Pastor Louie Giglio’s sermon, “How Great Is Our God,” which we had watched together that morning. While we marveled at God’s creation, we also struggled to wrap our minds around the vastness of it. It was a wonderful day in the classroom, and I do not take these discussion opportunities for granted. Truly, our God is great! 

The previous day, we had adventured to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, where we were treated to an incredible experience in the planetarium and also got to visit the Palmer Observatory. We learned about the constellations and contemplated the billions of stars in our galaxy alone. We viewed the fascinating surface of the Sun, from roughly 93 million miles away, through a state-of-the-art telescope. We wore solar view glasses and took silly photos, loving every minute of our time exploring together. 

Fifth-grade students enjoy learning about astronomy at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Palmer Observatory

Arousing curiosity

The experience at the planetarium and observatory was both breathtaking and memorable. Facilitating such curiosity-arousing moments is my ultimate goal as a teacher.  

I have a passion for hands-on learning development. Studying, experiencing, and applying concepts are all necessary aspects of making science tangible for young learners. This must be accomplished in a safe and intrinsically curious classroom environment. 

Over their four years in my Lower School science program for grades two through five, I encourage students to ask big, complex questions—and they do just that with great excitement and little reservation. Sometimes, the depth of their questions goes beyond my realm of expertise, but  I am pleased to see that the students are “all in” on the topic at hand. 

If I don’t know the answers to their questions, I will find them. My students help hold me accountable to learn something new every single day. We are constantly researching, thinking outside the box, bouncing ideas off one another, and challenging ourselves and each other to practice curiosity and to grow in knowledge and understanding. I want each of my students to be a lifelong learner, just as I strive to be and attempt to model for them. 

Appreciating God’s created universe

No better science classroom exists than the world around us. The moon with its changing phases, the vastness of the ocean in front of us, the different weather and seasonal patterns, the wild and wonderful plants and animals in their unique ecosystems—all are distinctive to our incredible planet Earth, a gift to us from God. How can we learn to care for our world, to cherish God’s gift, if we don’t understand Earth’s magnitude in the greater picture of how it fits into God’s created universe? 

We must always be innately curious to know more. Authentic discussions about creation happen best in a distinctly Christian classroom. As Giglio reminds us, “Though we, man, are a vapor, tiny and frail…we are marked by majesty, and we have been created in the very image of the God who breathes out the stars and puts the universe in place.” 

I’m grateful and in awe every day I get to teach, lead, and learn from the curious, passionate young minds in my classroom. 

Jessica Prahm
Jessica Prahm

Mrs. Jessica Prahm loves teaching science to elementary students. When she discovered Providence School, she knew it was where she wanted to be. She is the dedicated science teacher for Lower School students in grades two through five.


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