Kris Mavin

West Hartland Christian Academy - Class 1This is going to be the second school I’ve followed as another inspiring teacher equips his students with the skill of  Idea Mapping. The first school was Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and was initiated by Dr. Tim Schweizer in the fall of 2009. You can see one of many postings about Luther College here. Now I’m going to follow some high school students.

Meet my dear friend Kris Mavin. My husband Kevin Nast and I have known Kris and his family for over 20 years. Kris is the Senior Pastor for a church here in Michigan called “The Cause”, but also teaches two classes at West Highland Christian Academy (WHCA) where his children attend school.

I introduced Kris to Idea Mapping many years ago and then he attended the 2-day Idea Mapping Workshop I’m guessing back some time around 2003. He knew the power and value of the tool, but didn’t really have a platform to use it like he wanted until now. The name of one of the classes Kris teaches is “Misseo Dei” (God’s Mission).  He describes it as follows:

Specifically that course is designed to invite students to enter a deeper understanding of God through joining Him on the adventure of a lifetime.  The publisher of the book used in the course adds that “This is not an experience that begins and ends with salvation, but it is a journey that lasts a lifetime.” As we had talked I wanted to include the Idea Mapping as part of the curriculum to better equip the students for recall and creativity.  My personal take on teaching Bible in an academic setting is that it becomes exactly that, another academic class.  At a college or post graduate level that is one thing, however, at a Jr. High or High School level I believe that you have to work hard at balancing your approach to instruction so as not to make it simply a grade that the student is striving for as opposed to potential life altering (if not eternal life altering) information that should have immediate application.”

So with that as the back drop Kris purchased Idea Mapping books for each student and began to teach them how to create Idea Maps. He has spent several weeks on this to really solidify their skills before tackling the curriculum. I’ll share some maps from some very creative assignments that Kris has had them do. With only a few Idea Maps under their belts you can already see their growth, successes and personal styles starting to take shape.

I had the privilege to visit their class last Thursday. We had two of the students missing, so next time I’m there I’ll get a photo with all of them. I look forward to introducing you to these 11 juniors and seniors from WHCA and sharing many of their maps throughout this school year.