New School Year!

New School Year!

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young–let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance–for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7 NIV

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 4:5-8 NIV

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. 4:10-16 NIV

Though there are those in the WH administration who do not think an education is important, those of us who know The Lord, know wisdom and knowledge go hand-in-hand and we should never take access to a quality education for granted.

So, on this first day of a new school year–I’m praying for the students who are entering schools all over the place. I know that some schools (not in Michigan) started weeks ago, but this is the first day for many of our public schools and having access to education through public schools is important.

Of course, Betsy DeVos will never understand that and neither will trump supporters since they think getting an education makes a person “an elitist,” and therefore they are happy to stay ignorant and trump is also happy for them to say ignorant; he can continue to dupe them into believing anything he says. I guess they don’t realize he has a Bachelor’s degree, but then again, the way he talks and writes, no one would believe that anyway.

I’m straying from what I need to say: to the students who are crossing that threshold of your school building–have a wonderful first day and a great exploration throughout the school year. Stay respectful and inclined to learning.

This is a particular emotional day for me since my grandson is beginning his last year of high school–at 15 years-old and will soon be driving (in a few days) on his own. Time flies and next year, he’ll begin his first day of college.

I pray that every student, in every school, will clear their minds of old lazy habits and prepare to receive wisdom and instruction from every teacher in every classroom; by the end of the school year, all will be more knowledgeable about every subject taken than when they were on the first day.

For those 17 years-old and older–pay attention in your history and government classes so you will vote wisely and consider country over political party agendas.

Have a safe and wonderful day!

circumstances

Enduring To The End!

But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13 ESV

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  I Corinthians 9:24,25 NIV

Today, I’m participating in a walk-a-thon to raise money for band camp for our students’ Marching Band and it appears that we’ll be walking in the rain on a cooler morning than we saw yesterday. I will dress to meet the test!.

To get ready for this event, I’ve been working out to a song for 20 minutes every morning and walking when weather permits. I can normally work a mile in under 20 minutes and recently have walked 2 and half miles in 40 minutes. Today, the goal is to walk 5 miles and I have at least two hours to get it done.

I wonder, if we knew how much time we had left to get living right for God, what we would do. Would we practice living right or just think by some “magical event” it would just happen?

Living right for God according to His Word is a daily exercise–physically and spiritually and the best time to start is early morning–to set the pace for the day. Get into His Word, meditate upon His Word, and then practice what you have read with all you meet and greet throughout the day. Living right for God is not going to just happen–like anything else that we value–we must practice. Exercise faith in the moment every day and watch how God will work in your lives.

Only those who endure–keeping the faith and exercising the Word–will be saved and in my case today–if I endure to the end of the time allotted–I shall reach my goal and will have earned enough from pledges to support two students for band camp.

Our God is awesome and at my age–I need His awesomeness to strengthen me at the turn of every lap until I complete my 20 laps.  Thank You, Lord for power from within and without to achieve-to Your glory!

Why Patience Is Needed!

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  Titus 1:1-5 NIV

Patience is mentioned 34 times in the New Testament and patient mentioned 9 times in the Bible (once in Old Testament in Ecclesiastes). I’ve concluded–speculatively–that patience was not a strong character trait in many before Christ made an appearance. I base this speculation on the fact that the Children of Israel were so impatient with God, that they moved away from His guidance in an effort to more like other nations (needing a king,etc).

Here–in Paul’s instructions to Titus--we see a reason for patience and that reason is to teach others how to walk in the light of God’s love. If we really want to others to learn something well, we must be willing to patiently teach them–expecting them to make mistakes, but will be quick to hear correction.

This then may explain why some people are not good teachers–spiritually or naturally. If we get angry or frustrated with those we attempt to teach–we actually inhibit their desire to learn. One of the reasons we tend to get impatient with people is because we forget the road we traveled to get where we are. Someone had to have patience with us in order for us to know what we know. Even if much of what we know was through an inquisitive nature where we sought information on our own, we still had to exercise patience with ourselves.

Not to long ago, a person who observed my teaching a class told me that I had the patience of job with my students. I was amazed at her assessment because I do not always think I’m very patient with students when I’ve repeated myself–ad nauseum. At any rate, I realized that she was referring to my ability to give them time to think about a question before providing them with an answer. In fact, I seldom provide answers to questions when reviewing information–I simply wait until someone comes up with the right answer and I confirm. Teaching is not about trying to pour information into someone’s head, but about giving them the tools they can use to draw conclusions on their own.

Think about it! How long did it take us to realize that the answers we needed were found in Jesus Christ.  Questions about life and direction–found in Jesus. The voids we felt in our lives–filled with Jesus. And with me–He was very patient until I honed in what life really meant.

So, with patience–with self and others–will we move forward in teaching others about how to live the life God wants for us.

 

Educating Our Future!

Some schools–depending upon where one lives–are already in session for a new school year. Others are going back soon! What are the students going back to do?

Speaking from experience with Detroit Public Schools, many of the inner city students are going back to chaos–overcrowded classrooms, overused testing, and demoralized, unhappy teachers. None the chaos is the fault of the students, but they are the ones who will be negatively impacted by it the most.

First of all–PARENTS–get your act in gear and teach your children to respect authority and property of others. One of the reasons for the overcrowded classrooms is the budget allocation for textbooks which students either take home to keep or deliberately desecrate with profanity–making them inaccessible to others. The other reason for much of the chaos–ill-mannered, ill-behaved students who interfere with the process of learning. They have never learned to do school and when a teacher meets some of the parents–they know the apple truly did not fall far from the tree.

If parents truly want a quality education for their children, they need to engage in the process–get actively involved with the schools and the legislators making decisions about the schools.

The Detroit Public School district has had an assigned Emergency Manager for five years now that has not made a difference in the debt accrued. Why? Too many people coming into the system with the sole purpose of “lining their pockets” and totally forgetting about the kids they are supposed to help educate. This would not happen if we had anyone with integrity having oversight of the Detroit Public Schools. For those who know the power of prayer–it’s prayer time–pray for all Emergency Managers to develop a conscience and do their jobs–not line their pockets with the funds that should be spent on educating the children. Everyone needs to get out and vote–getting rid of all those politicians who are only interested in promoting their own–self-serving agendas–not the benefit of all the people.

EDUCATORS–FIGHT BACK–and stop the testing nonsense and spend the time–TEACHING your students. Students do not learn anything from over-testing; they learn from educators who have time to teach them the skills for which they are being tested. If they have not been taught, why are they being tested? A little common sense is needed here.

ADMINISTRATORS–grow a pair–and move out of the way of those teachers who are “still interested” in teaching children what they need to know to survive in this world. Using threats, being demeaning, humiliation and coercion will not accomplish anything other than unhappy, rebellious staff who will only do the minimum required to get you off their backs.Abusing your staff does not make you a great administrator–understanding what your staff needs and supporting them in their efforts will get the job done. If you are an administrator and are only a doormat to the district–resign! Get out of the way so our children can learn!

From observation and research, I know there is a conspiracy afoot to keep students from Detroit in a rut–for manual labor only and everyone who is involved in the system and is not willing to change the way we do education in Detroit is guilty of being a participant in the conspiracy. Our students need to know grammar–for conversational purposes as well for writing. When the District decided that grammar did not need to be taught (almost 20 years ago)–that should have been a signal for all to understand the complicity in keeping our children–illiterate. Now, we graduate functionally illiterate students who cannot read above the seventh-grade level. Where do they get to work? Fast–food restaurants and anywhere they do not have to think or read with comprehension. Just take a look at the cash registers being used today and you’ll understand my point.

So now, what are you going to do? Get mad at me or do something about educating our future?

You can read more in my book, If Parents Cared Enough, Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read  found here: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

Get mad, but get busy when you get over being mad!

And The Beat Goes On

My husband and I are broadcasting on blogtalkradio.com every Thursday at 5:00 p.m. EST.  If you miss the live show, archived episodes are available each week.  Yesterday, we had a blast and apparently, so did some of our listeners.  Please join us each week, “Live With The Rayfords” and let us  know what topic you would like to discuss.

Detroit’s 47% Illiteracy Rate

“Our education system is broken: This study “shows the staggering degree to which public education has failed in one of the most economically depressed cities in the United States,” says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. And it’s “even more shocking” that half of the illiterate population “somehow made it through public school.” Clearly, “taxpayers aren’t getting their money’s worth.” It’s too bad that half of them “aren’t able to read the report to figure that out.”

“Study finds 47% of Detroit residents are functionally illiterate” from http://theweek.com/article/index/215055/detroits-shocking-47-percent-illiteracy-rate

We clearly need to learn to read more–efficiently and comprehensively.  Grab a book everyone and “read”.  misc and trapped 010

Michigan Political Manipulation

Most states probably have foolish, irresponsible politicians making stupid decisions regarding the education of our children, but I think Michigan has to rise to the top of the list–of stupid.

In an era where public school students are the most deficient in the world (at least it seems that way), politicians, Aric Nesbitt (R) and Phil Potvin (R) have proposed House Bill 4072 and House Bill 4102, respectively, under the caption of “lowering high school standards” by eliminating foreign language requirements. There was another similar bill HB 4073, proposed by yet another politician–Edward McBroom (R) to reduce or revise the math, social sciences and physical education requirements so students can have more electives.  Does anyone else see a problem here?

The Republicans want to eliminate the courses that would help our students in a global academic environment and yet, they keep cutting funding for education so there a few to none electives for which they will provide adequate funding.

Let’s see if I have this right:  Dummy down the curriculum requirements, and let the students get fat and lazy so they can do… what?

I offer substantial corroboration as to why elected officials are more responsible for the failing schools dilemma than the teachers (they always blame) in my book, If Parents Cared Enough…Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read.  This is a must read for anyone concerned about the quality of education educations of all students.  The book is available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Xlibris.com.  Get it today and help fight for the education of all children!

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford.

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford.

Plight of Teachers

In one school district in Michigan, teachers are being shoved about Imageand moved around like pawns on a chessboard and there is no outcry from outraged parents; especially since the children are the victims of the incompetency prevailing through what is normally called, “human resources”.  This department needs to change its name to “inhumane resources”.  That would be a more apt description for what they provide.  This is “almost” the end of the first semester and teachers are moved from classrooms where they have “almost” developed a relationship with students and the students have “almost” connected with their teachers.  Now that connection has been broken and knowing the students the way I do, the next teacher they have is really going to catch it.

Parents, where is the outrage?  Why don’t you care enough about your children to file a class-action lawsuit against Detroit Public Schools for disrupting your child’s education, perpetuating a constant state of failure, and total disregard for the process of educating inner city students?

Students in Detroit–if your teacher has recently been transferred–revolt and demand the district to consider your needs, first and foremost.

DPS–Dumbfounded, Perplexed and Stultified–refusing to “see” themselves as the culprits for failing schools and always laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of the teachers who do not make foolish decisions and do not have any control over the ineptness constantly displayed by those who are at the helm.

It’s time to wake up folks if success is ever going to be possible for this district and its students!