Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The New School Year

The ideal of providing a free, quality education for every child, regardless of how extreme the need (emotional, physical, academic, linguistic, etc) while helping the brightest students reach their potential, can be very frustrating for even the most dedicated and talented teachers and can seem impossible to achieve. “We take ‘em all, and do the best we can,” Randy Hoover, a teacher writing in the Monitor, says, quoting a colleague. “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the outset of a new school year,” Hoover goes on to say, “when each new meeting with counselors, specialists, and parents presents another set of needs to be met.

“So over the 20 years, I’ve been teaching middle school, it’s been helpful to shift my perspective to a spiritual view that illuminates what’s really going on – to see not a troubled child struggling with behavior or learning issues, but rather a child of a perfect, loving God, reflecting His spiritual qualities of goodness, intelligence, and harmony. Where the human mind tends to focus on limitation and fear, [this] view liberates and lifts us to recognize our spiritual nature.

“’God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ As children of God, all students have unlimited potential to express intelligence, despite psychological or medical theories that might predict otherwise. Children are perceptive about how they are viewed and treated and tend to respond accordingly. Taking a spiritual view of them, I’ve seen many struggling students flourish in class. And I’ve seen negative effects when I haven’t held to that pure view.

“Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor wrote: ‘Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thought lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind…into your consciousness.’ School reform efforts have put the spotlight on teachers; studies show they are the single greatest factor in how much a child learns. Remembering that the Latin verb ‘to educate’ means ‘to bring out’ (not to pour in) this knowledge can lessen the burden a teacher may feel. Our seeing students in their spiritual light helps children recognize and draw out their innate, God-given abilities. This perspective brings great promise for the new school year.”

No comments:

Post a Comment