I have never attended a secular school. There has never been a point in my life where I have received an education that was not affiliated in some way with the Christian faith. I attended a Christian kindergarten/preschool and then moved to Saddleback Valley Christian from second grade until my senior year of high school. When I was younger I thought that this limited my education; however, after reflecting on it over the years I have quite a different take on the environment in which I was brought up in. I compared myself to friends that attended public school and felt that they were the ones that were stronger Christians because they had to stand up for their faith, whereas it seemed that I had always lived in some sort of Christian bubble. Within a classroom, I never had to feel like I was unable to disagree with the matter of fact discussion of evolution, I was never worried about whether or not I could pray in class, and I never had a teacher that I felt would shame me for voicing my opinions on faith. When I was younger I thought that in this way, my education had been limited.
Did this mean that I never had to defend my faith? That I never had to have hard conversations with people that steadfastly believed something different than me, or never knew what it was like to be in a place where the topic of God is just skirted around like a gigantic metaphorical elephant in the room? No, I absolutely experienced those things, and I still do. I felt like every time I told someone that I went to a Christian school, they thought I huddled around with my teacher and sang Kumbaya. Granted, I did once sing in a sort of Kumbaya fashion with Mr. Bodnar here at SVC, and that did contribute to the long list of odd childhood moments SVC contributed to in my life. However, Christian school is nothing like what people expect, and they will never fully understand the power behind it unless they experience the incredible love that takes place behind the scenes. At SVC going to school meant talking about life, purpose, and things that matter. Going to school meant learning from people who love God, and love others (and they show it!). Going to school meant I had people who not only genuinely cared about my cognitive education, but my spiritual development as well. Going to school meant that I was constantly surrounded by God’s love on a daily basis.
When I was younger I was unable to see the effect that this kind of influence had on my life, my character, and my childhood. Writing this now I firmly believe that my Christian education is the cornerstone of why I am the kind of teacher, friend, brother, son, and overall man that I am today. When I was younger I was blessed with an incredible school that showed me God’s love in tandem with an education, and now that I am older I realize the extreme importance in that.
Cayman Beeman teaches Jr. High English, Bible and History at SVC. He holds the distinction of being one of a handful of Warrior alumni who have come back to teach here. Prior to returning “home,” he taught at several other schools, spanning Elementary, Middle School, and High School. “After teaching at both secular and Christian schools, I knew that I personally could not omit Christ from the classroom,” said Mr. Beeman. “I am extremely grateful to teach at a school that allows me to share Christ with my students.” A graduate of Pepperdine University, he earned a B.A. in English Literature.
Mr. Beeman was blessed to have lived and traveled abroad in Germany (his favorite German word is die schnupfen, which means “the sniffles”). In his spare time, you can find him reading mystery novels and making a fantastic creme brûlée. Fun fact: When he eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he soaks them in milk.
You may reach Mr. Beeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.