Week: October 7th-11th
This week, Eric discusses our founding fathers, Texas state academic standards, and how to approach your children’s teachers/administrators about an issue.
10/7/19: Franklin on Virtue
Benjamin Franklin told us how virtue is tied to freedom.
Benjamin Franklin made a great observation about freedom and character. He said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
Franklin’s words are so relevant today.
It would be good for schools to apply Franklin’s insights to students. Religious beliefs held by students can increase their virtuous behave at school. But, if public schools sow in students the idea that religion is not welcome on campus, teachers will also reap the effects. Students will come to school without the good behavior expected by the religion they were told to leave at home. You can be a gateway to better education and help your schools promote virtue by promoting religious freedom on campus.
10/8/19: Texas and the Bible
Texas school officials want students to study the Ten Commandments.
One of the academic expectations for Texas high school students in their World History courses says this (and I’m quoting):
“The student is expected to explain the development of democratic-republican government from its beginnings in the Judeo-Christian legal tradition…” It also states that students are to “identify the impact of political and legal ideas contained in” a number of historic documents including the Ten Commandments.
You may be amazed at what your state’s academic standards expect students to learn about the Bible and Christianity.
We’ve analyzed every state. You can be a gateway to better education for students in your local schools by getting a free copy of our review of your state’s standards. Simply call 888-44-PARENT. That’s 888-44-PARENT
10/9/19: Acknowledging Faith in Class
Public school teachers should encourage their students to include their faith-based values in their decision making.
Teachers can include a discussion about faith in class. One way to do it is to simply acknowledge that there faith-based perspectives on the discussion topic.
Take for example, a lesson on decision-making. It would be very appropriate to talk about how, for many people, religious values are important to consider in making decisions. That’s not endorsing a religion; that’s acknowledging it. A teacher could say, “Class, I know many of you come from families where religious faith is important. When making decisions, be sure to evaluate how well your choices will align with your family’s religious values.” That’s simple and effective. You can be a gateway to better education for your children and students.
10/10/19: Help Me Understand
If you are concerned about something in your child’s classroom, there are three steps you can take to raise your concern and see a change.
When you have a concern, meet with the teacher and start the conversation by using the phrase “Help me understand...” Don’t assume you know the teachers’ intent. Your question should be a sincere desire to understand the point of the assignment or activity.
Next, affirm, in general, what the teacher is trying to do. Finding “common ground” is an important part of the discussion.
Finally, transition to your concern by saying, “But have you considered...?” Don’t assume the teacher will oppose you. In fact, it is better to assume the teacher will agree with you once you explain your concern.
10/11/19: Talking to a Principal
School principals hear a lot of complaints from parents. If you need to talk to your child’s principal about a concern, there is an approach that just may break through all the chatter.
Approach the principal as a friend and supporter of the school. Begin the conversation by saying, “I thought I should alert you to a potentially embarrassing problem.” You are not there to cause a problem, but to help the school avoid a problem.
Explain what you discovered when you talked to the teacher (which you will need to do first). Ask the principal’s advice for how to resolve the problem.
You may also want to bring a friend or your spouse along. You will feel less intimidated, and if you get flustered, your partner can help you express your concern. When you have a concern about your children’s school, you can be a gateway to better education.