The students, the parents, or the administrators?
The answer is all of the above!
Leaders of Christian schools, whether they come from Classical, Traditional, or a blend of both in the University-Model® school are becoming more convinced of the need for training and encouraging parents as partners in the academic, moral and spiritual education of their children.
Having been brought up in widespread cultural confusion and profoundly wrong Supreme Court decisions, a time when the family is rapidly disintegrating and where Facebook offers more than 56 gender possibilities for its users, today’s parents, especially our younger ones, have a lot of “un-learning” to do. So, who is going to un-learn them?
Everyone has already experienced, for example, the mom who posts her issues with the school all over her Facebook page stirring up the entire community and slandering the school or its leaders in the process. Or the mom who consistently appears on campus dressed immodestly. Or the dad who loses all self-control at football games. Or even the parents who just do not understand their biblical roles as those primarily responsible for their children’s education.
Since our culture no longer supports our values, schools must begin to focus more on strengthening parents—reminding them of their God-given roles, encouraging them to persevere when it gets difficult, and correcting so much disinformation they have already unconsciously and uncritically accepted and then integrated into their family practices.
At the Summer 2015 “Repairing the Ruins” conference of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools, along with workshops focused on redeeming sports in our culture and protecting our schools from gender identity lawsuits, there was a session entitled “90 Days, 90 Dads: Finding Meaningful Connections and Insights from Parents in a Growing School.”
Not surprisingly, the workshop addressed how one school tried to strengthen its community through a concentrated 90-day campaign to get to know every one of its dads and by encouraging moms to become more engaged through in-home coffees, classes, and grade-level meetings. This is excellent and we must have more of it!
We should not forget, however, that in this wired, electronic and highly distracted age, administrators, too, have some serious catching up to do. Social media is not going away. Administrators need to reflect on how this new environment challenges everything in traditional education: curricula, homework, the classroom and teaching itself. It prevents students from developing habits of discipline, concentration and critical thinking. It is compromising the value of the teacher, destroying genuine relationships and threatening true community.
Who needs education? We all do because the world we have known is changing more rapidly than we can possibly imagine.