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Opinion: Teachers should be empowering parents, not undermining them Several years ago when I first began my teaching career in the public school system, I was approached by a Christian brother who handed me a piece of paper. The paper had one solitary quote on it; one I had seen before but that took on new meaning given the fact that I had just inked my first teaching contract. The quote came from the January-February 1983 edition of The Humanist. In a provocative essay entitled "A Religion for a New Age," John J. Dunphy wrote, "I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanists values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level — preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of "love thy neighbor" will finally be achieved." Above the quote, my Christian brother had scrawled across the top, "We need you, and I'll be praying. Godspeed, young man." I'm not that young man anymore, but I am still joyfully in the public high school classroom. I say joyfully (1) because I love it, and (2) because even though I am an outspoken proponent of both homeschooling and private schools, I will always believe there is great purpose for God's people in most all professions; especially those involved in the intellectual and emotional character-building of young people. Abandoning the public-school system as a Christian adult seems foolish to me. Even if I were to choose that my primary, biblical obligation of raising my son and daughters in the fear of the Lord required me to withdraw them from public schools, I believe any voluntary, self-purging of Christian adult influence in the system would have disastrous long-term impacts for the souls of individual children, as well as society at large. The recent viral twitter thread posted by Matthew R. Kay, a teacher in the Pennsylvania public school system, reaffirmed my belief. Kay took to social media to sound off about his concerns over the reality of holding "virtual class discussions" with his students, knowing that their parents might be listening in. Here was the full thread: --Opinion: Teachers should be empowering parents, not undermining them | Disrn --https://disrn.com/opinion/opinion-teachers-should-be-empowering-parents-not-undermining-them/ -RETRIEVED-Wed Aug 19 2020 09:04:23 GMT+0200 (Central European Summer Time)
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