I attended two “Meet the Teacher” events last week for two of our grandsons. With a profoundly uncoordinated calendar, all of the schools in Tulsa County have started, are starting, or will start classes by August 23. Two school districts picked a Friday for the first day of school. Don’t these districts remember that the whole reason school has been out is so the children and teens can help with the summer crops in preparation for the harvest this fall? Those children have been needed around the house all summer to work the fields, clean the barns, and can the fruit. Not to mention how useful they are every day with the chickens and the pigs. – Maybe it is time to reconsider what the school year should look like in an urban America in the 2010s.
On the other hand, the teachers I met were delightful. It was obvious that they love their work and are looking forward to the challenge of getting to know their new students. There were a number of students dropping by to say hello to their former teachers. Many came to thank them for the impact on their lives. One elementary teacher was saying that he was about to have as a student the son of a former student. Some parents were a little misty-eyed.
I have been a public school volunteer now for over 30 years as a parent, a pastor, and a former school board member. Our church began an intentional ministry with Tulsa’s Will Rogers High School in the spring of 1991, with Tuesday Time Out, where the students could come to the church for an all-you-can-eat pizza lunch. They really could eat pizza! We’ve continued providing food, friendship, prayers and our facilities to students and faculty alike. All of this is in a spiritual context of love and service in the name of Christ. It is easy to complain about the public schools (see above). Consider, instead, walking into the building as a volunteer to make a difference, or supporting your church’s ministry with the public schools.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Pray for your schools. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.