I Dream of a School

Martin HanscampNewsletter Reflections for Christian Schools, The CACE Roundtable3 Comments

An idealistic set of teachers’ hopes and aspirations

This article is part of a series from the writings of Martin Hanscamp, a friend and partner in Christian education. Martin faithfully served  Christian Schools and Christian Education National (CEN) in Australia, but passed away in 2020. Michelle Dempsey, CEN’s CEO, set the stage for this series in her introductory post. In her words “If we are going to honor Martin’s legacy, we will need to put Jesus front and center in our lives, our work, and our play.” Enjoy some of CACE’s favorite writings from Martin.

Last week our teachers sat around and did a little daydreaming. Our trigger was a single A4 page where an anonymous author had captured their ideal church in an ‘I Dream of a Church’ exercise. We applied the same heading to our school. We dreamt a little and this is the compilation of what we came up with. It’s good to dream occasionally.

I dream of a school

  • Where there’s strong sense of where it has come from and an expectation of a great future.
  • Where the vision is renewed in faith, hope and love.
  • Where our passion and direction are embedded in reliance of the Holy Spirit.

I dream of a school

  • Where difference is applauded and richness is measured in diversity not in the typical wealth barometers of people.
  • Where God is recognized as the giver of gifts and students can develop an understanding of who they are in Christ.
  • Where the unusual child can enroll and their contribution is celebrated.

I dream of a school

  • Where God comes first.
  • Where there’s a love for the Word of God.
  • Where, love, joy and peace are not just words, but explored, experienced and shared deeply.
  • Where there’s unity in beliefs and values but diversity in style and expression.
  • Where faith is built through example, articulation and expression from littlies to biggies.

I dream of a school

  • Where each individual is seen through the eyes of Christ and everyone is valued, appreciated and celebrated.
  • Where everyone in the community plays a vital role and feels they belong.
  • Where parents, students and teachers can lovingly, joyfully and peacefully express to each other, who they are.

I dream of a school

  • Where parents don’t say hi and bye at eight and four.
  • Where their hands are up when you need a volunteer.
  • Where teachers and parents, together are finding umpteen ways of partnering in the growth of their child.

I dream of a school

  • Where there are opportunities to give voice to shaping the school and ways to practically serve.
  • Where self-expression and creative response are encouraged.
  • Where kids fall in love with the God they see living in their teachers.

I dream of a school

  • Where staff are growing in their relationship with God.
  • Where prayer is a regular necessity.
  • Where the fruits of the spirit show.
  • Where teachers can love and be loved.

I dream of a school

  • Where teachers are passionate about the Christian education vision.
  • Where they love their job and the kids they teach.
  • Where staff are free to dream and encouraged to believe the impossible.
  • Where pressing on to higher goals wins out over the immediate pressures of survival.

I dream of a school

  • Where teachers embrace the new school day with zeal and hope.
  • Where teachers leave a staff meeting, ‘Boy that was good’.
  • Where staff team together shoulder the task, making time beyond yard duty and correction.
  • Where weariness finds respite in breaks and tonic in inspired vision.
  • Where teachers have good morning teas.
  • And when they hear the ‘back to class bell,’ gladly spring up to embrace a new lesson.

I dream of a school

  • Where vigorous learning is a celebration in the Lord.
  • Where learning is a celebration and the classroom is a fun place.
  • Where mistakes can be made in safety.
  • Where success is measured by personal growth and development rather than academic prowess.
  • Where love of learning motivates students.
  • Where timetables and busyness don’t hold back other teachable moments and extra care.


  • Martin Hanscamp

    Martin Hanscamp was a Christian school teacher, principal, and Executive Officer for the Australian Association of Christian Schools. Martin spent many evenings behind the keyboard writing about Christian education and what it means for the life of the Christian school.

3 Comments on “I Dream of a School”

  1. This sounds like a great school in all that it says, but that which it leaves out keeps it from becoming my dream school. If only including what is said here, the school would be very emotion based. Students would feel good in Christ, but I question whether they would learn to love Christ “with all their mind.”

    To compliment the development of the Christian’s emotional self, I would add dreams in which every teacher sought to illuminate God’s goodness and involvement in every subject area; sought out the biblical truths, principles, and priorities that undergird each class; and instill a vision in each student’s heart to impact the people and institutions of society with God’s love and wisdom.

    These things would go a long way towards rounding out my dream of a school!

  2. Nice.

    I would add children to my school. Not that this school totally ignores them (they are mentioned five times), but teachers are mentioned 11 times and a bunch of bullets are anonymous. It’s one of the challenges we face in the 21st century school – can we make the child important? If the child is not explicit, s/he is invisible and dominated by adults.

  3. This is a beautiful expression of hope and faith in what the ideal Christian school might be. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be exhaustive, so I appreciate the willingness of the authors/creators to allow others to add their thoughts/reflections. I love what’s written here. I might add I dream of a school that is actively and intentionally creating opportunities for students to explore and live out their biblical worldview with active application of the curriculum to real-world problems…where spiritual formation is strongly connected to service and community partnerships and outreach, where biblical worldview development takes place as an embedded, intrinsic, but intentional and overt aspect of the curriculum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.