The teacher, the student, the classroom and the church, the role played by each in making America great and creating success out of failure in public schools The teacher cannot teach any religion in any public school classroom, that is not her job, he can however be the representative of God in the classroom, and by professionalism and example be a witness to the God within.

The Call of the Teacher

What is the “call?” A “call” is a voice inside of you, which directs you to a specific field of service or career. It is powerful enough to over-ride any other ambition or drive to do something.

The “call” is usually directed towards someone who has a special gift, known or unknown that was given by God, to the individual, to enable the individual to help God in His service and love for mankind.

The special gift is presented to the callee, and then a need develops in the callee to share that gift with others. Usually the person given the gift will not be concerned about fame or financial rewards because the rewards come from sharing the gift. The rewards from the gift comes from giving the gift away to others.

Often the call is given to the wealthy to share the concept of wealth with the poor. Many are called to be guides for groups trapped in the darkness of poverty, to get on a path, which will lead them into God light of wealth, and prosperity in His Kingdom on earth. A calling is guided by a spiritual force, which compells an individual to obey. God has no hands but the hands of His creations, and a called person is often called to be the visible hands of God. The called person becomes an individualization of God acting as God and through God at the point of his/her being. The secret of successful teaching is in hearing the call and answering.

When God calls a teacher to be one of His disciples, and to go out and fish in the deep, He gives them the power and the authority to do the job. Teaching in challenging areas is fishing in the deepest part of God’s waters. It calls on the power of the Holy Spirit to be successful, patient and effective. When Jesus spoke to the crowds of people gathered to hear Him on the mountains, He was aware of the different challenges they had in their lives. These were the common people. Jesus knew there were people who came from troubled families. He knew there were people who were struggling with financial problems. Jesus knew that some of the women in the group were widows raising children on their own. Jesus knew that most of the homes were not filled with the works of Socrates, Plato or Aristotle, or the writers of the great Jewish writers. He knew that some of the people had to sleep on mat in the corner of a relatives hut. Jesus did not concern Himself with how to reach these people from diverse backgrounds and diverse needs. He knew that He was sent by His Father, and as such, the Father would provide the words to be said, and prepare the hearts of the people to receive the word.

The teacher, on call, will also be given the authority and the power of the word to teach. The students will gather on the hills in the classromm ready to receive the works that they know in their own spirits have been given by the power of God. The students are transformed from being members of a lower socio economic group, as determined by how many of them qualify for free lunch, to one of the individualizations of God ready and capable of learning.

It is a mysterious relationship, which occurs, students who may have been labeled slow learners become up to pace. Students who had been assigned to a lower grade point in reading comprehension, relate to questions for their age levels and beyond. The teacher communicates with the spirit of the students and encourages them in the power of belief. The students believe in the students, and the students empowered by that belief, become to believe in themselves.

Belief influence thought, and thoughts become things, and the thoughts that the students have is that they can achieve excellence. Magically, areas of understanding open up in their brains, and the factors blocking them from achieving their highest potentials drop away, and they become learners at the highest efficiency.

The teacher, empowered by the Holy Spirit reaches beyond the appearance and information on a students potential, and breaks through to that special area hidden from the world of acceptance and frees the student to be true to themselves. The teacher releases the locked up song within the student and work pours forth,which defies human understanding.

This is what happens when there is a significant rise in reading, math or writing scores and performances of some students in some area where failure was expected. Miracles can happen, and what some people call miracles, God calls the working of the Holy Spirit. Spirit formation has been demonstrated by the teacher, and spiritual formation has taken place in the academic performance of the students.

Children who are formed by the spirit are at ease and receptive to knowledge. It is remarkable that schools are the last to learn the power of spiritual formation in students. Corporate America used this understanding as an effective marketing tool when they are interested in marketing a new product to a specified market. Sales men, who are teachers, do not stop to play the cognitive inferiority, superiority game when they are introducing a new technological product . They know the intellectual abilities of students, and they know that what the student may not understand at first, they have the ability to stretch and reach and become an efficient user of their products.

If the electronic game and computer companies used the same guideline to market their products, they would have lost billions of dollars. The schools said that some students in selected communities in some schools, could not perform in academic areas. These same students purchased complex telecommunication and intricate computer games requiring the same cognitive skills of rationalization, problem solving and decision making. The market had faith in the students, and encouraged their sales people to work on that faith and improve the market. They had a vested interest in believing in the transformation ability of the human mind.

 

The called teacher comes into the market like a salesman, sure of the craft and the ability of the customer to receive and understand the information given. The salesman is trained not to accept no for an answer, and the called teachers is also filled with the belief and confidence to know the job can be done.The formulations of those beliefs came from a grounding in scripture and motivational sermons by pastors assigned to teach the word of God, and teach the congregation to follow the Great Commission. Congregational members, of whom many were teachers, knew they must go out into the work, in whatever career they had chosen, and bring people into the Holy Kingdom of God.

The question is, when did the assignment to the congregation of the church stop hearing the message. If they were not hearing the message, what was the reason for the not hearing? Were ministers of the Gospel, giving the scripture and the message to their congregation, or had they gone off message? Were teachers and other professional members of the congregation leaving the churches and seeking other means of satisfaction? Has there been a decrease in churches, which teach and preach the Gospel, and an increase in houses of worship dedicated to other commissions/ Rick Warren in his words to the postmodern church does not center on deep spirituallity or a dedication of people to follow the words of God.

A significant number of the mega driven churches, rely on entertainment as a means of bringing people into the churches.

Are people in the Warren purpose filled churches being spiritually transformed, and are they in turn transforming the lives of others? Are teachers out of the environments, which nurished the call, and have the events in their personal lives so overwhelmed them, that they have put aside the call?

The question then becomes, are the right people enteringing into the field of teaching? What are some of the reason some people give for wanting to teach, and prepare themselves for the assignment? What are some of the reasons given why some people decide to leave the teaching profession? Is there any relationship between those who enter, the time remaining in the profession, and the individuals who decide to leave? Why did they come, and why did they go?

Jesus gave us some insight into what could happen to those who elected to follow Him, when He selected His disciples. Each person was carefully selected. Each person possessed a particilar characteristics know to the human condition. The twelve characteristics in mankind are observed in each of the disciples, and in the role of teaching, there will be times when one or more of the characteristics of the disciples will show up in the teaching experience. Some teachers, like James and John will be called to drop everything and answer the call to teach.

Some like Thomas doubt, and wonder why they dedided to go into teaching in the first place. They doubt whether tthey or anyone can make a difference in the lives of some children. There are those, who in times of great challenges, run away from assignments for fear of being associated with a failed mission. Peter, who knew the word and the assignment, lacked the strength in himself to see what Jesus saw in him. The Judas, in us all brings us to the depths of betrayal of our temporal selvels and helps us to know that what we do as teachers will have an eternal effect. It is those who survive the Judas period of their lives with doubt, and are risen to their true purpose in life. These are the teachers who have the power to help children who are living in the Judas phases of their life, to know that through education, there is a day of ressurection.

Jesus demonstrated to the teacher through His relationship with His friend Lazarus, that the world may see you as dead. They may even point to evidence of rotten flesh that smells to all those who only see and smell death. Jesus call Lazarus to come forth, knowing the truth about his reality, and Lazarus lived. The teacher see beyond the apparent of death and impossibility of a future of success, and calls forth life from the students.

Sargent[1] believes that for ”working class students, striving to succeed and absorbing the school’s middle class values, is accepting their inferior social position as much as if they were determined to fail”… that “irrespective of their academic ability or desire to learn, students from poor families have relatively little chance of securing success.” A teacher who demonstrates records of success with children, see and work beyond the apparent of such statements and see life and success.

Sargent continues writing about schools and children from different classes, he writes:

“These people who are poor and disadvantaged are victims of a societal confidence trick. They have been encouraged to believe that a major goal of schooling is to strengthen equality while, in reality, schools reflect society’s intention to maintain the previous unequal distribution of status and power”2 Sargent is seeing a dead Lazarus. He knows nothing of the human spirit and the power and the will to bring forth life out of death. If teachers become blind to their holy mission, they too will see the hopelessness of their situation. It is not until the Holy Spirit removes the artifical scales of blindness from their eyes that they are able to see with insight and know the possibility in all children.The gift of insight must come from the church. It is the church, and the regular attendance of the teacher where the removal of the scales of blindness occurs.

                Encouragement, Accountability, and Worship.”When looking for some of the reasons that some teacher decide not to stay in the field, it is necessary to look at the leadership style of the individuals who had the responsibility of supervision and control over the environment. Principals today receive sensitivity training in working with teachers. It has not always been that way. Women entered the teaching field during and after the depression. Many of these women elected to enter into the field because the selection of diverse positions for women were few. A women was expected to eith go into teach, nursing, or secretarial work. Those who did not have the privilege of an education went into the manufacturing or service industry.Those who entered into the teaching field, found themselves subjected to some of the same harsh conditions as non professional workers. Some principals acted like factory formen. Teachers could be given unfair teaching responsibilities. Some were required to teach and do administrative duties. Some teachers were verbally abused in front of their co workers and the students. The postmodern teacher is not aware of the changes in leadership styles of the principals as the results of the union.

In New York City, the United Federation of Teachers, is responsible for better working conditions for teachers. Teachers could have heard the call to teach, and enjoyed the working with the children, the environment controlled by the principal could be a cause for concern in some areas. In some schools today, in the 21st century, there is no way to determine the psychological abuse many teachers are exposed to as the results of being in a position of limbo. It takes a minimum of three years working as a classroom teacher before a position is secured. Some teachers are assigned different categories. Some teachers may have the title of substitute, and their contract ends at the end of the term, and the principals has the power to decide if the teacher will return to the school in the next school term.

Many teachers are assigned to district offices for assignments. Some teachers must look for employment from term to term. These teachers know that if they do or say anything that could upset the principal, he or she might not be asked back for the next term.Some principals, depending on their personality and leadership styles take advantage of these teachers, who are usually on the bottom of the seniority roster and as a results significantly effected the job satisfaction of some of the teachers. In schools where there was a high turn over of teachers, this was an indication that the leadership style of the principal played a role in the low performance of some of the students. The conditions for teachers in classrooms around the country, have not reached public concern.

There is however, a need for research in order to determine how teachers feel about the environments in which they work. Many teachers depend on their jobs to meet their financial obligations, especially since most graduate with significant school loans. Some feel that the service to the children is a religious commitment, and remain as long as they can.

There is however, a significant number of teachers are not willing to endure the abuse that their sisters, mothers and aunts did, and they look around for less stressful employment situations. Teachers who elect to leave the profession will seldom blame the leadership style of the principal as a factor in their decision to leave. Principals have the way of convincing some individuals that they are incompetent and place evaluations in their folders designed to destroy the confidence of young inexperience, and even some seasoned teachers. These teachers are willing to blame the neighborhood, the children or even they were able to find more suitable employment, few will tell the real reason for leaving.

Some years ago, Columbia University was engaged in a study relating to the American experience, specifically for the African American. The focus of the study was to determine how was it possible for a group of 600,000 men women and children to come to this new world, which became the United States of America, life under oppressive conditions, increase their number to several millions, and leave the institution of slavery with sound mind and healthy mental attitudes. This particular ethnic group, has become not only one of the largest ethnic groups in the country, but they have transformed their condition to becoming the wealthiest most educated peoples of color on earth.

What was the process through which this miracle was achieved? It is here that the study of the Black Church will contribute to the knowledge of the transformation process. African Americans changed the theology of traditional Biblical scripture and Christianity , and made the word of God a spiritual guide for life. This section on the Black Church is included for the purpose on demonstrating the transformational power of teachers.

There is a difference between Black Christianity, the Black Church, the Black Community, and Christianity, Churches and American culture. Black Theology is very different from American Christian Theology. American Christian Theology centers around a Jesus, crucified, dead and risen and sitting at the hand of God the Father all mighty, ready to judge the quick and the dead.

Black Theology focuses of Jesus as a living guide through life events. Theology is liberating from the oppressive issues of life, usually carried out by the American Christians. African Americans are Christians despite the actions and behaviors of American Christians and that is because of a different understanding of the message of Jesus the Christ. Christianity is not a political or ethnic title that a person is born into, but an identification of how one lives a life. African Americans take their religion very seriously, and if a person identifies him or herself as a Christian, certain behaviors and attitudes are expected. It would be impossible for a member of a Black Church and Black Christianity to be a member of a violent group dedicated to the hatred and destruction of another group or individual. If an individual did present such a characteristic, members of the Black Church would consider them possessed of demonic spirits, and hold extensive pray services over the individual. It would be presented to the individual holding such beliefs that they are wrong and holding sinful thoughts. The Black Church and Black Christianity was about saving people from their thoughts and behaviors, which were not Christ like. The Black Church was a major institution in the lives of the Black community and provided the social service needs of the community. Men played significant leadership roles in the church, and were considered role models for the community. Political decisions, economic decision, relational decisions and education decisions were sanctioned and formulated in these sacred locations. Men and women of outstanding intellectual ability were elevated to positions of leadership in the church. The Black Church operated its own teach training academies, where men and women learned the skills of organizational development, classroom management skills, lesson planning and instructional delivery. Churches operated their own after school programs, Sunday school programs, adult Bible study classes and Seminaries.

               Black Christianity was also different from traditional Christianity. Black people viewed Jesus as a living Savior, guide counselor and friend. It was he who made it possible to endure difficult circumstances in the personal realm and the political realm of society. Black Christians did not develop an anger or rage against the oppressors of the Christian community, who went to church on Sundays, and some wore white sheets on Monday to attend rallies planning violence and even deaths of individuals. The Black Church prevented the development of emotional and mental victim personalities as the results of individuals in the outer society placing obstacles in the pathway of progress for countless men and women of color. Jesus was a God of love, and the Black Church and Black Christianity taught people how to truly love the enemy and not permit the sins of the enemy to become their sins. Men were encouraged to study and become preachers, and women were encouraged to study and become teachers. These preachers would hold the family of God together while they endured the trials of living in a hostile environment.

The teachers would dedicate themselves to the task of educating the children so that they would be prepared for a world of the future free of oppression. Teachers were believers of a better world and a better future here on earth. Black Christianity focused on the quality of life on God’s earthly plane, while at the same time helping Christians to understand that there was life after life, with God in the heavenly realm.

The Black Church and Black Christianity had the most effective anti depression and anti neurotic program in the country. Black Christians learned that the attitudes of the behaviors of other Christians, were not their concern, and they had to work out their own soul salvation. Black Christians learned how to avoid the psychotic behaviors of other Christians who were determined to destroy them in mind, body and spirit. There was a spiritual separation of the two groups and a separation of theologies presented in the churches. Black Christians learned a Black theology, and a theology of liberation. The significance of this literature is that developing countries around the globe are using this model to create a growing number of middle class economic structures in struggling political systems. The African American was given an opportunity to work with America in order to enable her to be her better self. The African American did not seek revenge on former slave owners. They left the institution with the gifts and talents they had used to lay the foundation of the country. They loved the oppressor, raised the children of the oppressor with God’s pure love, and the children of the oppressors were transformed. The children of the oppressors built schools, colleges, jobs set up the NAACP passed Civil Rights legislation, which has enabled America to be an example of how God works, when we learn to take ourselves out of the process. Columbia University became a great University, founded before the Republic, and a major educational institution for the education of African American slave and free during the period where this country was finding itself and its purpose in God’s world.

 

 

 

  1. [1] Sargent, M. (1994) The New Sociology for Australians (3rd Ed), Longman Chesire, Melbourne
  2. Ibid

 

Leave a Reply