The freedom to operate our own schools is but one of the tremendous blessings we experience. As a result of God’s blessing on the hard work of faithful personnel, our schools produce results that the public school system can only dream of, at a cost that they can not believe possible. Complacency, however, has ruined many a successful venture; so, at the beginning of another school term, I would like you to consider what your contribution should be to the work of the school.
Teachers, you make an obvious contribution on a daily basis. More important than your store of pedagogical knowledge, you contribute a role model for your students. They will copy your expressions and tone of voice. Your enthusiasm for learning, your respect for authority, and your commitment to excellence will be mirrored in your students. The parents and the school board have the right to expect you to make school your top priority and to avail yourselves of opportunities to sharpen your job related skills through reading and teacher instruction courses. While your contribution is important, remember, you are not alone in the work.
School board members, your contribution is foundational to the long-term success of the school. You are responsible for the core ideology of the school. From such obvious factors as the choice of teachers and curriculum to the more subtle factors such as library and reference books and the promptness with which maintenance issues are addressed, your values are being communicated at school. We would question the commitment of a farmer who does not feel it important to read any farming publications or to attend any seminars pertaining to his work. As a school board member, you should contribute a commitment to excellence that motivates you to read The School Builder and to take in some of the educational classes provided at the various school institutes so that you can better understand how good schools function. Teachers, parents, and students also expect your confidentiality. You have an inside track to an abundance of information that is not common knowledge. If your wife or children are commonly the root of the school grapevine, you are not contributing properly to the work of the school.
Parents, your contribution is key to determining the level of benefit your children will receive from the opportunities before them. Your contribution of respect for school authority is vital. To speak negatively of school board decisions and to question a teacher’s policies in the public forum contributes nothing constructive to either the school or your children. You should also contribute motivation for you children to learn things that you never studied in school. Help your children to see the doors of opportunity that such studies will open for them rather than saying, “I never studied that, and I am making out just fine in life!” Parents also contribute to the work of the school when they take an interest in their children’s schoolwork, when they visit school, and when they are available to help orchestrate the various special activities of the school. Parents contribute greatly to easing the work load of the teachers when they drop off and pick up their students on time, when they ensure that their children have their homework completed and practicing finished, and when they communicate with the school staff any home schedules that will impact the school. Parents are also expected to contribute financially to the operation of the school. At times this expectation seems a heavy burden until we view it in comparison with the spiritual, moral, and academic costs we would incur if we were to use the public educational system. Finally, possibly the greatest contribution parents can make to the smooth functioning of the school is to daily, fervently pray for the work.
Grandparents, your contribution is also needed in the work of the school. Pray daily for the work as you can see probably most clearly the impact education has on later life. Your interest in school also contributes enthusiasm to the teachers and children. As you share your experiences and interact collectively and on a personal level, you can add relevance to studies that at times seem abstract to children due to their lack of experience. You too can contribute financially to the work of the school. Grandparents often have more economic freedom than do families with school-age children and your contribution to the school can do much to lighten the burden the younger families need to carry.
Young people, you too can make an important contribution to the work of the school. School children often look at you with admiration and a desire for your approval. You can contribute to the school by sharing only the profitable aspects of your school experience and by encouraging the students to make the best use of their time in school. Consider seriously, also, whether God is calling you to contribute directly to the school as a teacher. A willingness to be a substitute teacher is a great contribution that not only will bless the teacher but also will have a trickle-down affect on the students and will be a growing experience for you as well. Youth also should take seriously their privilege of contributing financially to the school work. Many young men today hold well-paying jobs because of the quality education they received in our schools yesterday. You can choose to view your money selfishly as a product of your hard work or you can honestly admit that what you are earning today is a direct result of the input that others have made in your life. Contributing financially to the work of the school is but one way to express your appreciation of what the school has contributed in your life. Together, all of us can contrib-
ute appreciation for the involvement of all the others in the work of the school. School is a corporate effort. Given your contribution and my contribution and God’s blessing, the work of the school will continue produce a generation that is a blessing to society and a testimony of the truth of God’s Word.
— Fredericksburg PA