Teachers as important member of the American education and cultural society should and must have a personal and regular relationship with their own houses of faith and worship. The teacher must have the skill to call on supernatural powers within the environment to bring the students into the spirit of acceptance, submission and trust. It is a very spiritual process, which requires a great deal of lesson planning and command preparation. The students are members of a school play, in which each child has a role and significant part to play, it is important for the teachers to teach them the part that they must play and give them an opportunity to be a star. Others will view performances of the play during the day, and how well the students play their parts will be commended. The teacher as writer and director of the play must know the script and know how to motivate the students to be excellent players. Teachers who enter a classroom without a script, and no skills in production and directions will fail and blame any and everything for that failure. If the teacher fails to plan, she holds in her hands the plans for failure.

If it is determined that the culture of a school relates to a culture of failure then teachers who view themselves as agents of success, will not be satisfied in that school. Changing the culture of a school is difficult. If a significant number of the faculty receive their appointments from serving students with challenging learning or behavior needs, then any change would directly affect their economic status.

There is significant profit made by support services from poverty and failure, and it is impossible to a change school caught up in the culture of profitable failure. The school would have to be closed and all staff transferred to different locations. It may be difficult to understand the culture of failure. I will try to put in simple terms, and terms based on experience. If an individual or an institution receives a grant to improve academic performance in a select group of students, and after a given amount of time, the students are tested, and the test scores indicate a significant improvement in academic performance. They have successfully completed their goal assignment. There will be no additional funds for that particular project. Staff will lose positions, and all support services required to improve academic achievement will no longer be needed. Success has caused the removal of a significant number of staff. Some where along the way someone will discover that there is profit in failure, and failure in success. Few businesses can survive if success will affect the budget.

Minority school districts receive a significant amount of their budget based on the academic failure of the students. Every three years new learning strategies are developed, and sales men persuade superintendents and school principals to purchase new state of the arts materials designed to improve the academic performance of the students. Hundred of thousands of dollars are paid to publishing companies, which would go out of business if their products were successful, they would be out of business in three years. Hundreds of reading specialist, math specialist and staff developers are hired to teach teachers how to use the new materials. If these individuals were effective, they would be working themselves out of jobs.

Minority and low income districts are cash cows for venders, specialist and politicians. If at any point an individual enters into the system, with his or her own plan for teaching students, they are perceived as threats to the system. The system fights to protect itself. This is called the culture of poverty teaching and with all the vested interest involved in keeping it going, the victims, the children and the teachers, are helpless to do anything. Poverty is a lucrative market and there are lobbyist in state and federal government paid to look out for the interest of the private vendors who make their living providing service to the failed consumer. If any thing or anyone were to attempt to change this multimillion dollar system, they would be removed or they would voluntarily remove themselves. Teachers will attack honest smart teachers, principals will give unsatisfactory ratings for not following procedures, the support services in the school will consider a change agent a threat, and will not cooperate, if the education system were to improve it would have such disastrous results on poverty pimp vendors that it is almost impossible to make such a change. If a teacher began to show some indication of success with the academic performance of the students, the system will accuse her/him of cheating, and demand proof that any change in the system is valid.

Vendors supplying the educational system with textbooks, print remediation materials, support services and consultation fees would be economically destroyed if the lie about student performance were revealed. The lie that hurts so many children and their futures makes thousands of others wealthy.

 American teachers are sensitive to the culture of poverty teaching, especially if they have attended schools where strong factors were in place to maintain the status quo. Some attempt to fight the culture, however, many give up in frustration and elect to move on into other career fields, also challenging, but not as emotional as teaching. Some teachers explain the situation to the students in such a way that they could understand. Students who decide to change attitudes; behaviors and learning modes, often find themselves in similar position as the teachers.

As their scores and performance goes up they are rejected by their peers for “acting white” and discouraged from demonstrating their true potentials. A bright motivated students can be perceived as a threat and an outsider, the same way a bright and motivated teacher would be. Unless the culture of the school changes, these failing schools will not be able to hold bright students or bright teachers.

If the community has been conditioned to see itself and its students in negative terms, then that change must come from the moral center of American communities, and that is usually the different houses of worship.

The worse threat to a system poverty teaching, was the Black Church. The same was true in Jewish Houses of worship, which conducted after school centers for Jewish students. The Catholic Church of course did not play the race game or the stratification game, all who entered its system received the same quality education. The same could be said for diverse religious institutions and private schools. It was however for those students whose parents could not afford religious school or private school that the Black Church set up its own educational system. They did not spend thousands of dollars on books designed for failure by publishers more interested in selling the printed word rather than providing information.

It is frustrating for a publishing company to print thousands of copies of the original works of Shakespeare, and have some 5th grade student go to a video store and rent the video on Hamlet and MacBeth, with analysis of characters. The publishers would have to say, ”Johnny can’t read.” No one notices that “Johnny” reads all the instructions on the complex computer games and can access data from computers going through advanced reading materials. This does not matter, “Johnny” cannot read Ghetto teaching materials, and he does not respond well to poverty teaching.

These students are a pain in the neck to the system,this is a big problem, and it can only be solved by the teacher. If a teacher feels the calling to teach, then a way must be found around a system designed to fail students for profit. As a school teacher, a way was found around this situation. The Church was approached and request for space to work with children after school was made. Time was a factor and additional information was to be added to the approved curriculum, it would be necessary to work with the students during the after school hours. This after school time was used to add the additional materials used in the upper performing school districts, and approved private school curriculums and strategies. Confident in the knowledge of competency in the pedagogical skills and the cognitive abilities of the student, the question was securing the permission of parents to transport students to the Church after school hours, and securing the approval of the Church to carry the additional insurance required for school students, the project was designed and completed. The teacher said yes, the students said yes, the parents said yes, and the church said yes.

This was not a Black Church, but it was a church committed to it outreach ministry and education. Further research is needed to determine how teachers feel about their working conditions, and the student with whom they work. There is a significant body of information relating to teacher attitudes and the preparation process. It suggests that teachers feel that the preparation, which they received in college, did not prepare them for the reality of the classroom. These are correctible problems. It will however, require the joint efforts of family, school and church. It is possible to manage children and teach them. This is demonstrated by the success rate prison have with the management and education of young people who are a fall out from the education system. There is however, a lack of research questioning the role of the church in identifying some of the problems faced in the community, especially problems where individuals have the ability to change behaviors, thinking and life styles in order to improve working conditions of teachers. There is little research suggesting that churches are sensitive to the needs and concerns of teachers working in communities. If teachers are going to come into communities to act as facilitators and guides through the learning process, then the community will have to step up to its responsibility and see to it, that they provide students with the behaviors and attitudes ready to receive the services, which teachers are prepared to deliver.

Adding the missing variable of spirituality to the education preparation of public school teachers

 

The Role of the Church in Spirituality and Spiritual Intervention in Addressing Issues of Teacher Burnout

We invite guest to come together to share gifts and talents

Saturday Morning

There are 10 workshops with cycles in the fall and the spring. Each workshop consists of two parts, spiritual formation and practical clinics in teaching.

Clinics taught by certified teachers/Professors, follow NY State Curriculum Guidelines.

 

                                           Separation of Church and State strictly Respected

 

                                             Overview of the Effective Teacher’s Clinics

 

Spiritual Management of Time

 

Spiritual Management of the classroom

 

Spiritual Management of student behavior

 

Spiritual Instructional Preparation

 

Spiritual Instructional Presentation

 

Spiritual Instructional Assessment

 

Spiritual Instructional Monitoring

 

Spiritual Instructional Feedback

 

Spiritual Interpersonal Relations

 

Spiritual Trip Planning / Preparations

 

Be the Superman, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha or Spiritual Being necessary to bring transformation to our education system, it starts with you.

 

Spiritual Formation For Teachers Workshop – Cross Roads Where Religion And Education Meet

Columbia University and The Riverside Church

 

 

 

 

 

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