Another school year is upon us. Teachers have made preparations. parents have completed back-to school shopping. The school board can relax because teacher needs have been filled. But is this what makes a good school year?
School and its success depend on many persons. If anyone is deficient in their roles of responsibility, it complicates and frustrates others who could feel they need to do more than their duty. The following is a reminder for each of us to do what is expected so this school year is a good one.
The School Board’s Input
The school board serves as the overseer to the school program. even with the best teachers and the best curriculum and the best students in place, a good school year does not just happen. It takes monitoring and direction of an active school board.
Each board member needs to take an active role in what happens at school. This active role is a lot more than being at monthly board meetings. An active role requires a listening ear to happenings at school. Not only does he need to hear what his children say about school, but what do fellow patrons hear about school. This input needs to be shared with the rest of the members at school board.
An active role also includes regular classroom visits. These visits are not to place the teacher or students on trial. On the other hand, if observations and a sense of discernment are not included in the visits of the school overseers, what is the purpose of visiting school? Schools that have good years benefit from the observations of board members who take responsibility to help teachers and students have a good year.
Normal school life includes times when patrons have some concerns about school. These times do not need to destroy a good year in the making. Depending on how the concerns are received, it could mark a bad year on the way. Give a listening ear. Separate the facts from the feelings. Thank the patron for sharing their concern. Then, allow the conclusion or direction to be the work of the board. One member running the school usually makes a frustrating year, not a good one. As a board faces the problems with a united front, it can and will be a good school year.
The school board needs to be the teacher’s support group. Challenges are a part of normal school life. but when the teacher always senses the support of an active interested board, the little ripples are ironed out and a good school year is remembered. Board members should support the teachers hired to do the work requested of them. If the board helps them have a good year, they will desire to have many more good years.
The role of an active interested school board cannot be overestimated. Good school board oversight will help produce a good school year.
The Teacher’s Input
Teachers seem to be the ones who put the most efforts into a good school year. Their school day begins before students arrive. Their day often lasts longer than most men who punch the clock. but do many hours of hard work promise a good school year?
Teachers must be the ones who love to come to school. Teaching school is more than a clean job. It is more than a position of recognition. It is a work that engulfs a teacher’s heart and life. School age children must attend school, but the teacher is there because they desire to be there. The first person in the classroom every day is one who is looking forward to having another good day.
Teachers need a love for children. Children are unfinished specimens of society. There is more they cannot do, than what they can do. Abilities need to be perfected. Knowledge needs to be learned. Concepts need to be understood. Good habits need to be formed. The freedom of innocence will be replaced with the responsibilities of growing up. These characteristics and challenges of children are opportunities for loving teachers to have a good year. Loving children as they touch their lives is a teacher’s way of having a good year.
The teacher’s love of knowledge is an integral ingredient to having a good school year. School is more than a playground. It is more than social life. These have their place, but children go to school to learn. Teachers have learned the value of a broad spectrum of knowledge. Most teachers have had their favorite subjects in school. but teachers have the maturity of appreciating knowledge beyond what is their first enjoyment. The teacher who has and shares interest in each of the school subjects is bound to have a good year. Interesting teachers help produce good years and many precious memories for school students.
One of the challenges to having a good year relates to the level of law, order and respect in the classroom. Few teachers are hired with these characteristics identified as part of the teacher’s responsibility. Yet the classroom atmosphere has a lot to do with whether it will be a good year. Are rules to be obeyed? Is the teacher an authority or a big brother or sister? Who is in control, students or the teacher? Is school fun and games, or work and progress? Teachers must monitor and maintain these vital ingredients of the classroom atmosphere.
When the above are properly in place, there is a good basis for healthy relationships between teachers and students. The grades may not be the highest, but students can feel a caring teacher. The teacher’s input inspires students’ input. The parents and school board feel a teacher who makes an important contribution to the school and most of all into the lives of their children.
The Parent’s Input
Parents also hold a key to a good school year. The saying, “If mother is happy, everybody is happy” could apply to Mother and Father. When parents feel blessed by what is happening at school, they make their best contribution. parents must also realize that they help determine whether the school program will be a blessing to their home.
The general parental attitude toward school is important. Is school a necessary evil? Are the subjects all important? Is it worth the cost? What about all the school rules and standards? How can children have a healthy attitude toward school if parents do not? Children will grasp their parent’s attitudes and their carnal nature will magnify the negative attitudes. Then who is to blame for having a bad school year? Parents should maintain a good attitude toward school and its deficiencies just as they desire to have those looking on to have a good attitude toward their home with its needs.
Parents need to give time for schoolwork. most children come home with homework. The slower children will have more than the average. Do we give consideration for this need? Time is needed to listen to the child read stories or lessons. Drill work takes time. We can assist our children in these areas and enjoy a good school year or it can be otherwise.
Financial demands of the school can be taxing for many homes. many school boards feel guilty for not paying their teachers more. When teachers can earn twice as much in public works, teachers are not being overpaid. Can parents appreciate the sacrifice teachers are making? Can parents sacrificially support the school with a willing heart? Nobody enjoys hearing the school board treasurer begging all year for finances. Let us have a good year and give as the Lord has prospered. most parents have the resources for what they consider important, and school should be in that important list.
Another input parents can make for the school is prayer support. This does not cost more than the time and condition of heart. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (Jas 5:16b). This would also be true of the prayer of a righteous family. Children need to hear parents praying for the teachers and students. Healthy prayer support helps the hearts and hands of each family member to do their best to have a good school year.
The Student’s Input
What input should students give to a good school year? Children need to be reminded that the best opportunities can be given them, but if they do not relate to them properly, less than the best will be realized. The privilege to attend a Christian school is an opportunity most of their grandparents did not have. How can they make the best of this school year?
Each student should do his best. The abilities will vary, but each can do his best. If the best is getting and “A” or a “C”, it is his best. One school problem is when a student can do better, but because of laziness, carelessness or apathy he does poorly and demoralizes the school atmosphere. These negative traits will ruin any day and every school year. When students do their best, we can expect the best.
Respect and cooperation are two contributions every student can make. In every social area of life, these two qualities need to be seen. When students neglect to work with authority, they will have less than good attitudes toward authority. Then there is a conflict of wills and stresses develop. When the tensions grow, relationships dwindle and nobody has a good day.
Interpersonal relationships among students also affect the goodness of each school day and year. Children need to learn to accept the differences among them. They need to respect each other. The last names vary, their gifts vary, and their inabilities vary. God has placed varieties among us that need to be accepted. When students accept the varieties of others and others accept their individual variety, we can have a good school year.
God’s Input and Blessing
“Except the Lord build the school, they labor in vain that build it.” This application of psalm 127:1 reminds us of the need for the Lord to bless our labors. God desires to bless His people. God desires to bless the work of the Christian School.
God has blessed us with the preservation of the privilege to have our own church schools. This is and was not always possible. The freedom to have private schools is God’s input and blessing on our school.
God has also blessed us with teachers to teach. He gives the gifts to members of the church. He encourages gifted individuals to give themselves to this work. God has blessed us with many teachers who have and are doing a good job. We have had many good years because of God’s gifts to the school.
God has given us the financial resources to operate our schools. During the leaner financial years, we wonder how we can bring the ends together. Maybe God desires that we analyze our spending priorities. Church, school and mission work are not the first areas that need to be sacrificed. If we are good stewards of the material means God has given us, there will be funds available to do what God expects. personal projects and desires need to find their place after the more important projects of God.
God desires that each of our schools have a good year. He wants the best for our children, our homes and our churches. Anything less than a good year will reflect on the less than best input of any of the above, except God. Let us all do our part so we can have a good school year.
— Richland PA