Celebrating Educational Acheivements

On The Great Shalom I have always proclaimed that God wants total well-being for all children. Especially I have encouraged academic achievement, something which, for all the hype and words, is less and less valued in American education. I daily see the ravages of evil in this regard. It is most serious when news of a correctable evil is blotted out with charges of “negativism.” What is really negative is to refuse to address a problem, and to lie that evil is good. I see this so much, so pervasively that even I am tempted to get down.

Last night, however, I went to Commencement. Aside from the top administrator saying a few things that could seldom ever be true, given current policies, it was a great event all ’round. We cheered and celebrated so many student. Many of these students, where I have been teaching, work to complete their program of study under great hardship: poverty, under-0preparedness, lack of resources, lack of community and moral support and faculty who themselves must struggle with these things. Yet these few students made it. They were every size and shape. Some walked timidly and others with “excessive celebration” as they say in the sports world.

I could not help ginning ear to ear the entire time. I have seen standards so obliterated that bright students no longer try and learning disabled students not get identified. I have seen so many negative, hurtful things. But last night, I saw some achievement. I wish that I could help more students across such a finish line — whichever is their particular line.

Being a gracious and helpful teacher will not in today’s world be sufficient. Being a broadcaster encouraging the parents of children, probably all of whom have special needs, has even proven insufficient. I would like to train teachers, even to build a teachers’ college. Everywhere we train pastors, we should train teachers. The State of Texas certainly disallows this here, but it is not impossible. Please help me, help more students, over their goal time — with or without excessive celebration!

Happy Graduation! Blessings on all graduates.

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