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Friday, March 04, 2005

Where The Need Is

I do a little part time teaching on an agency basis with a number of high schools (11-16) in the Manchester area. Over the years one thing I have noticed is that although teachers face some of the most serious and challenging behaviour from hard pressed inner city schools, it is precisely there, where the need is, that the schools are better organised, more supportive and the children most appreciative and friendly once the barriers start to come down.

None of this should surprise Christians. Our Lord took special care to come alongside those in most need and those most neglected in order that they, hungry for the love and wisdom of God might find life in Him.

Teachers know though that this is no sentimental or idealised calling. Damaged people sometimes can only relate through their anger, despair and frustration ... and make no mistake about it; there are very many damaged children in our schools. Sometimes a school is the ONLY secure environment where attention and care may be found.

Today I taught in a particular school where, frankly, I came away just a little weary and dejected. There had been some good moments but you do wonder sometimes whether any progress has been made. Often, though, we just don't realise what actually has been achieved and for reasons I can't go into here my confidence has now been restored. I believe that there is a very real need to get more Christian teachers into State education. Wherever the need is, there our Lord calls us to serve ... as He did and does.

1 comment:

Dave Holford said...

As a full-time RE teacher in a state 11-16, I realise the truth of what you say more every day.

I was talking to the head of Year 9 at my school this afternoon. Reports have just gone out and he was sending out letters of praise to the parents of those students with "outstanding" progress in three or more subjects and letters of concern to those with three or more "poor" assessments.

He noted that without exception, those in the outstanding bunch were send to "Mr and Mrs" with the same surname as the child. Also without exception, those in the other group were sent to a single parent or a a couple with a different surname.

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