I recently read a journal article that encouraged teachers to design writing assignments that would encourage students to write. This particular article focused on supporting male writers.
My mind immediately began to race back in time to my days of youth. Why do I enjoy writing? What were some things that I could remember that motivated me to write? Just the other day, I responded to a question about things that I greatly enjoy. To quote Popeye – “Well Shiver me timbers” – before I knew it, I had answered: WRITING.
Recently, I had an opportunity to provide some professional development for the teachers at an AACS school in Virginia. We spent three hours one day taking a very quick overview of the Christian philosophy of education. I have had many opportunities to present to teachers on this topic, and from my study I have developed a presentation that asks and answers eleven foundational questions. The third question in the series is “Who has ownership of children?” The Bible answers that question in Ezekiel 18:4, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine.” Children are owned by God, and God has first claim upon their lives.
The sixth question in the series is “Who is responsible for educating?” If God is the owner, then He can tell us who is responsible for educating children. The Magna Carta of Christian education is Deuteronomy 6:6–7, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children.” Paul writes in Ephesians 6:4, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Fathers, specifically, and parents collectively, are admonished in Scripture not to provoke their children to wrath. The alternative offered in Ephesians to provocation is the raising of children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Provoke is defined as stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger in them or deliberately make (someone) annoyed or angry.
The idea of dressing for success has been around for forty years ever since John T. Molloy wrote his best-selling book.
However, the idea of dressing our classroom for success is something that too often gets overlooked for the more “practical” elements of education. There are multiple factors behind our reluctance to consider dressing our classrooms.
In recent days I finished reading a short book that chronicled the adventures of one man’s quest into house building 101. He recognized that along the way he had made numerous errors in judgment, so much so that he subtitled the book Cluelessness Meets the Construction World. The story takes several twists and turns as the author uses self-deprecating humor and lessons learned in the school of hard knocks to offer suggestions on what not to do in the process of building a house.
© 2013 Chris Dragon. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#47).
Having known the author for many years, I found the stories reflective of his personality. His descriptions of circumstances formed word pictures that I could very well see in my mind. But reflecting on the book for several days has caused me to seek benefit for myself even though I am not presently building a house nor do I plan to build a house in the near future. So was my time invested in this read a waste?
And with the sound of the starting gun, we are off and running in another school year. For most a 180-day trek that includes additional professional development days, holidays (some celebrated in school and others out), perhaps some weather days missed, but certainly including meetings with parents, faculty meetings before or after school hours, lesson plans, extracurricular events, field trips, chapel services and student body gatherings, and on and on the list goes . . .
© 2013 Tim Alamenciak. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#46).
Yes, the race is on. But as any worthy racer knows, the race must be entered with a strategy. So just what must be considered for this race we call a school year?
As summer begins to draw to a close, signs of back–to–school are in all the usual places. Commercials and sale fliers advertise everything imaginable for you to fulfill your role as student. Shopping for new clothes and school supplies can be great fun. So, enjoy it! But while you do, consider that you are investing in lots of things that, this time next year, will simply be old and worn.
© 2011 Andrew Hurley. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#45).
So, while you’re investing in things for the outside of you, also make time to invest in the inside of you. Think . . .who will you be when you exit your school for the final time of the 2014–2015 school year? How will you be different? Will you be better? What will you be proud of? What might you regret? Now is the time to plan that day.