Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Church in the Classroom

I recently watched the Ron Clark story. Ron Clark was a southern teacher who went to New York in the 90's and worked with underpriviledged kids. Though he had a bit of a bumpy start, he soon threw himself wholeheartedly into his teaching and his kids and succeeded in helping them raise their test scores and believe in themselves. It's a fantastic and inspiring story, and Matthew Perry was nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Ron Clark.

Ron Clark has a special heart for kids like those he taught in Harlem and is opening the Ron Clark Academy this fall in Atlanta to reach more kids.

I've watched other inspiring teacher stories as well, such as Freedom Writers.

I would like to point out what I have found to be interesting about these stories. In each case, the teacher has a rough start. Slowly, however, they manage to show their students that they care about them and have their best interest at heart. They emphasize a unity within the classroom and cultivate a family that is often missing from the lives of the students. They forsake other pursuits in their lives. In short, they place their students well-being above their own. Their personal lives take a back seat. Their health takes a back seat. They work for the good of the kids. And it often seems as well, that they cannot continue doing this past a few years.

But while they do it, they love those kids (for what else could it possibly be called?) and profoundly impact lives for the future.

In some ways, it's a little like watching church, you know? When people complain about how God has been taken out of school, I can't help but think He is actually very present in some places.

What are some inspiring stories like this that you know?


Sally said...

I also notice that these teachers have very high expectations and won't settle for anything less - very motivating.

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