Back to School, Back to Commitment
By Brian Barrier
It is becoming more evident each passing year that the moral fabric that has made the United States of America so blessed and favored by God is rapidly deteriorating. I can think of no better time to talk about our children than now. It is September and our little ones (and some not so little) are just going back to school. What kind of environment will they be heading into this year and what kind of education and training will our children really be exposed to?
As the very far-left and radically liberal minority continues to be the “squeaky wheel that gets the grease”, it seems like we conservative Christians sit complacently by and watch as our country undergoes a frightening shift away from the very principles that made us so great, to begin with. Like many of you, I am becoming alarmed and wonder often what I can do about it. I am just one person, right? Well, I believe that first and foremost, each of us has an opportunity to make a difference, and we can start by becoming more involved in our school system.
Our children are the future citizens and leaders of this great nation, and if we want them to have the same opportunities that we have been blessed with, we must start paying attention to what’s going on in our communities and especially in our schools. As they go back to school, let’s get back to commitment!
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”
We’ve heard and read that verse of scripture many times. Each of us has a mandate from God Himself to “train up” our children. This includes monitoring and interacting with those who spend almost every day with them in positive and productive ways. Your child will most likely spend 8 to 10 hours each night in bed, and another 6 or 7 hours in school each day. That only leaves around 6 to 8 hours for the family. Many of us work and aren’t home when our children get home, and, between other activities our children are involved in (sports, dance, church, etc.), we are really getting just a few hours each day of our children’s time. Your child could be spending more one-on-one time with those in the education system than they are with you!
Teachers and other school staff who are responsible for providing education to our children should be aware that you are a concerned and responsible parent, and they should also understand that you are there to support them, as educators, throughout the school year. We need to be concerned enough that we take the time to really get to know each person that encounters our children and has influence over their learning and behavior each day.
Meet each of your child’s teachers. Get to know the principal and other school staff. Parental involvement is a morale-booster for those educators. Most of them want your child to be successful and appreciate knowing that you are taking an active interest in your child’s learning, that you are a TEAM united for the same goal – the success of your child. This will give you a chance to ask important questions about your child. What observations are the teachers making about your son or daughter? Which children are their friends? How can you help?
Take time to be involved with activities at your child’s school. All Title I schools in the state are required to hold a Parent Math Night and a Parent Reading Night each year. Find out when these are taking place and be there. Also, most schools still have active PTOs or PTAs. Make sure that you join that organization and attend the meeting (usually they are incorporated into other events happening at the school at the same time). Is your child in the chorus or the band? Does he or she play a sport or are they involved with a club? Make every effort to attend these events. This shows your child that not only are you supporting them but that you are also supporting their school and teachers!
Most importantly, you should pray for each teacher every day, by name, and have your child participate in these prayers as well so that they recognize the importance.
Another very important thing you can do is find out who is on the local school board. What kind of morals and values do they represent? When it’s time for new elections, you have an obligation to know as much as possible about those running for the local school board. Get other parents and citizens around you involved as well. Then, you must vote for those that you know are governed by God in their personal lives. According to greatschools.org, “An effective school board plays an important watchdog role in keeping your local school on track and setting policies that affect your child and your school. The school board sets the vision and goals for the school district and holds the district accountable for results.”
Being a parent is not easy today. In many households, both parents work full-time jobs, leaving very little time to practice the previously mentioned tasks. We are competing with technology and many other distractions. But, it’s not up to the local church or local school to raise our children. Yes, they each play a very important role, but, ultimately, it is our responsibility as parents. God equips each of us to fulfill all that He has commanded us to accomplish. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
The very future of our way of life is at stake. You CAN make a difference!