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Classroom Takeaways

As I continue this series of mental downloads from yesteryear, with my intent being some value add given any practical wisdom gained in the five sectors served, my focus today is upon the twenty years spent in public education.

The dearest residual of those years are the relationships that until this day have been sustained. Having some students now in their seventies, those connections far surpass any financial remuneration, as meager as it was, and frankly still is for teachers across our nation.

I'll beg the reader endure my tirades, given my experience in the belly of the beast, for as with the prophet Jeremiah, this fire has long been "shut up in my bones."

To be the very feeder system of all human capital, that which drives our prosperity, you would think appropriate funding would be a priority for public education and with that, an accountability system that assures the best of outputs. Neither is the case, and any efficiencies expected from such a disastrous formula should seem insane to any reasonable human.

As well, given the rapid dismantling of family structures within our society, compounded by a widening wealth gap, not to mention precipitating declines in such fundamentals as reading and math, you would think that public education from an economic perspective alone would be this nation's greatest priority.

Need I mention any pure moral obligation! Meanwhile, this profession now recieves as much abuse as it does strategic aid!

To compound this national malady, many churches discourage public education by projecting a notion of some denial of religious freedom, an anti-christ like indoctrination, given "prayer was removed." My experience is teachers likely pray as much as clergy, just to get through the day. Most teachers represent the salt of the earth, the more compassionate of any professionals known to man.

Sure, opening the school with a prayer led by the principal over the intercom is a thing of the past. Even the word intercom now seems dated.

All this was necessary to reduce the likely violation of human rights given a growing pluralism in America. However, if Christianity as practiced of late was the answer, then we (yes, to include this nasayer) have failed at our own game in America, meanwhile sending missionaries around the world. Think about that!

Sure, there are teachers that are low performing, yet most educators enter the classroom out of a sense of calling. Those low performing, often only enter after having exhausted a more lucrative placement, though usually short-term, as the role is not only low paying, but very challenging. Principals often have no choice given sheer numbers, but to fill staff requirements with less than yhe best. Unfortunately once in the system great energy is required to move those same low performing employees.

As to prayer being taken out of the classroom, it may have been more the fact that our religious institutions have failed to prepare sufficient pray-ers, while offering disparaging admonitions regarding what once was seen as one of the backbone of calling in society alongside the clergy.

Prosperity over prayer seems to have taken the hearts of the very institutions that founded public education by way of the Deluder Satan Act of 1647. The religious basis of the act was explicit: the act stated its intention was to thwart “ye old deluder, Satan” in his goal “to keepe men from the knowledge of ye Scriptures.”

If this text is designed to support my next book, one built around the concept of spiritual practicality in a capitalistic society, I am forced to address the very base of all societies, spirtuality and its impact upon the most basic of human rights, education.

Once I came to Christ and during my time in the classroom, as well as in a central office role, my commitment was first to the students, then their immediate families and the community fabric in which they would be nourished

All the above equally critical to whatever curriculum offered.

Our goal as believers is not indoctrination but rather bringing noticeable hope. Until one's hope is recognized and inquired of by those being served, one has little ground for indoctrination. If the latter is the sole (vs. Soul) goal, often more damage is done than good to the cause of Christ.

I would think we evangelicals might now realize that, as our congregations are either diminishing or have become so partisan as to no longer represent the Christ.

Again, my transparency brings out that "fire shut up in my bones" yet I offer no apology, as I "do this in His Name" and as often as I "drink the cup of His sufferings."

However, as a former educator, I do know the benefit of a break, one sufficient for the reader to process the thoughts being shared.

So "selah" until next time!

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