Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD our upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (Psalms 34:11-16) Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And He laid His hands on them, and departed thence. (Mark 19:13-15) Honor thy father and thy mother. (Excerpt of Luke 18:20)
You cannot teach a child you do not love. You cannot teach a child you do not respect. You cannot teach a child you do not understand. You cannot teach a child whom you are afraid of. You cannot teach a child without bonding first, which results from love, respect, and understanding. (Jawanza Kunjufu) This is something that came naturally to me, long before I read it in a book. (I give God the glory!) In my finite mind, I knew that in order to reach my students, before I could teach them, I had to bond with them. Each child had to feel special. They needed to feel important and loved. I had to show them I cared for them as individuals. Each child needed to have one on one instruction/attention, whenever possible. I had to learn to be a good listener, as well as to wear several hats. Sometimes I was a teacher, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a sociologist, a mother, a confidant, as well as a friend to my students. Each child comes into the classroom with unique qualities, needs, and backgrounds. I knew that if I wanted to be treated with respect, I had to treat my children with respect. I could not demand respect from my students. It had to be earned. If I had any hopes of my children succeeding in the classroom, the groundwork had to be laid, within the first few weeks of the school year. Classroom management was absolutely a major key to success. I knew how important it was to acknowledge the Lord in all of my ways, so that He would direct my path! Prayer may have been taken out of the schools, but it certainly did not prevent me from praying for my children, and praying for guidance from the Lord, to be the best teacher I could be. Could these concepts be the missing ingredients in our public schools today?
Not only did my students have to see me in the light mentioned above, but they needed to know that I was also a disciplinarian, who had high expectations for each child, to succeed behaviorally, as well as academically. However, this had to be done in a loving manner. On the first day of school, when I met my students at the lines, they began to realize the high expectations I had for them. Misconduct was not going to be tolerated, in any way. I instilled in my students, that they would be the best students they could possibly be, and perhaps in the entire school, in and out of the classroom. Parents were looked upon as partners in this process.
It is sad to see the violence, the chaos, the level of disrespect for parents, teachers and others school officials, as well as the high failure and dropout rate in public schools today. Too many students are graduating, who are not proficient in reading, writing, or math. The children who are in inner-city schools, are intelligent, as well as gifted, but ofttimes they lack motivation to do well in the classroom, in spite of their abilities to do so. It is heart-wrenching to see the videos on the news, of young ladies going to war, literally, inside and out of the school buildings. So, so sad. The children of this generation, have been tagged Generation X! Why is that? I do know that they are the future. We must embrace them, love them, guide them, and most of all, pray for them! Many of you may have children and grandchildren who are not quite children anymore, yet not quite old enough to handle their situations, without your intervention, whether they like it or not. I believe that it does take a village to raise a child! There are several adults in the lives of children, teenagers, and young adults, who are influential, yet not related. For example, there are teachers, coaches, neighbors, Sunday school teachers, Pastors, etc.: thus, the village.
When my brothers, sisters, and I were coming up, we were never asked if we were going to church on Sunday or during the week. If there was service, such as Bible Class or Prayer Meeting, on a week night, it was a given, that if our Parents were going to church, so were we. Nowadays, Parents ask their children if they are going to church or not, and in many cases, the children are likely to choose the latter! Somewhere the line has been blurred, as it pertains to the relationship between a parent and the child. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
The Bible also says in Proverbs 13:24, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. What does this Scripture mean to you? Feel free to share your thoughts. God bless!