I had the privilege of speaking with a mom today who is considering what to do for schooling for her son next year. She called me because I have “heap big experience.” So I told her a little of this and a little of that.
And one of the things she mentioned was her concerns about schools teaching evolution without teaching “all four theories.” I assume she was including creationism, intelligent design, evolution, and a fourth one. Can’t think of it right now. But as she discussed her issue with evolution, she let me know she would plan to let the teacher know that her son would memorize the information presented in class but that he doesn’t believe it. I’m usually a very good LISTENER, who offers murmurs of affirmation and little puffs of understanding. But, I noticed today that I felt like I wanted to dissent just a little from what she was saying. I tried to still listen and affirm, but I told her I personally wouldn’t do that and I would wonder what she would want to accomplish by telling the teacher that her son doesn’t believe the information. If she wants her son to learn “all four” theories, I suggested she just supplement at home.
The other thing that struck me was she felt strongly that children should not receive academic credit for bringing in supplies to school. And, again, I felt like it was important to gently mention that individual teachers are doing the best they can, and many are doing a fantastic job, and that teachers are all part of a district-wide system, and a state-wide system.
When she brought up the concern about whether or not the school system observes some kind of day of silence that has something to do with how gays have been silenced through the years, I just groaned inside. Is this really what Christians should be focusing on? I’d say no. How about supporting the teachers, the school, the administration, through prayer and volunteering and lots of practical outpourings of love.
I know parents just want the best for their kids. I understand that. And of course people have convictions. I also understand that. But I think when the convictions get in the way of loving other people, the priorities are skewed. I remember a song that says “They’ll know we are Chrsitians by our love.” Let it be so.
5 thoughts on “Today’s Most Interesting Phone Conversation”
Wow, that definitely was a conversation. Kudos to you for being able to give gentle reminders. I would have probably just stared dumbly at her. 🙂
Experience combined with love, as in this case, is better than gold.
It's not good to start out in an adversarial position. I would suggest that she start praying for her son's future teachers–I think that allows God to change our attitudes about people and situations.
On a side note–supplies for extra credit makes me crazy! I see it as allowing parents with money to “buy” a better grade, while those who can't afford extra whiteboard markers, kleenex and hand sanitizer are left out. My local high school definitely has families who cannot spare money for classroom supplies. I'm not talking about asking everyone to bring a box of kleenex at the beginning of the year and awarding a little extra credit to those who remember–but rather a policy of awarding more points every time a kid brings something.
Fortunately, our current school tends to ask for supplies at the beginning of the year and then teachers will tell students (high schoolers) what they are low on and then kids will bring them in. It's rather casual and encourages generosity. One teacher was always losing whiteboard markers, so she got gifts of markers for her birthday from the kids last week(about 20 of them)!
“Little puffs of understanding” — I LOVE that!! Nice job giving her the gift of your authenticity and insight. xoox, mjm
“But I think when the convictions get in the way of loving other people, the priorities are skewed.” – I LOVE this.
It really boils down to what is most important.
PS: Extra credit for bringing in supplies????