Our Education Problem

“The problem in education is not a lack of money–we’re spending more than ever before. The problem is not a matter of access to the “right curriculum.” The problem is we have abandoned the priorities of character and moral development along with teaching reasoning and objective truth. We have failed to give children a foundation they can use to learn on their own.” Dr. Everett Piper, Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth ~
I remember my daughter coming home from a day in high school quite a few years ago. She had asked a question in class. Apparently, the teacher didn’t know the answer and didn’t care to search it out. Her response? “You don’t need to know that.”
The teacher moved on–perhaps embarrassed at her own ignorance–perhaps not. According to her, my daughter didn’t need to know the answer in order to…?
It was a foreign language class. Theoretically, my daughter has had no need at all of that subject since she has not visited that land nor engaged a non-English speaker from there. She just wanted to know how to say a particular word.
And the teacher shut her down, dumping water on a spark of curiosity. Continue reading “Our Education Problem”

Reality vs. Perception of Safe Schools

It comes in whispers. What few want to say. I’ve heard from some of the victims. Some of those who leave public schools for private ones because they asked for help, but no one would act.
Maybe they are Christians or maybe they have no faith at all. But they seek asylum in what they hope is a safe place. Where they can be safe from their tormentors.
Some were bullied.
One was sexually assaulted. But administrators didn’t want to call the police. They didn’t want a scandal.
Because if no one hears about bullying and crime in our schools, no one will realize it is real. And it is where our kids are. Continue reading “Reality vs. Perception of Safe Schools”

A Boatload of Hope

Work is not primarily a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental, and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God. Dorothy Sayers

He was not a student I expected to see years later sitting across the desk in my university adjunct office. When I was a brand new teacher, he, like many middle school boys, had not been a highly motivated student.
Back then, I held little hope that he might simply fulfill his potential.
But here he sat.
So he told me his story. Continue reading “A Boatload of Hope”

The Food of the Soul

“As Chesterton saw, it is the search for truth that keeps us sane, because it always brings us back to reality. And why is reality so important? It is what we are made for. Reality is the food of the soul.” Stratford Caldecott
In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance includes a moment from his youth when he didn’t understand the difference between intelligence and knowledge” (59). A classmate had shown off his multiplication skills. Vance had yet to realize the concept even existed.
He felt stupid. In response to his sense of failure, Vance’s grandfather devoted time once a week to drilling the youngster in mathematical concepts. Papaw showed patience when Vance got frustrated. Papaw crowned success with ice cream. The lessons stuck.
But Papaw wasn’t the only one to enrich Vance’s mind. His mother introduced him to the library and encouraged reading in the home. His father introduced him to faith.
Papaw was a rock of stability for the boy. Mom? A sea of dysfunction. Dad? Absent in his early years. But what they gave was enough. Small meals of wonder. Continue reading “The Food of the Soul”