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Pastor's corner: Education is power

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POSTED: July 24, 2007 5:02 a.m.
The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy, his son in the ministry, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
As a young minister, Paul knew Timothy’s greatest asset was wisdom and knowledge of God’s word. Timothy needed to be grounded and rooted in the word of God. Paul wanted him to be the best minister he could possibly be. To do that, he needed to educate himself in the word of God.
In a few weeks, we return to school. I have enjoyed my vacation, but it is time to go back to the classroom.
This week, as I was meditating on what to write, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about the importance of education. I believe it was Francis Bacon who said, “Education is power.”
As an educator, I wonder sometimes how many of our students really understand the power of education. Jobs are hard to find as it is, but without a good education many doors are going to be closed in your face.
I believe we have a great education system here in Liberty County regardless of the scores. Our system does a great job educating the children. We have a unique system because it is more transient than many counties. The class you begin with may not be the class you end with. Sometimes we get students in a few weeks before testing and we still manage to do well on tests. We have teachers and great students. Our system is full of diversity.
As teachers, we have a challenge to meet the diverse needs of our students. Because we think education is important, we work very hard to meet those needs. Our greatest challenges are student behavior and motivation. I thank God for those students who are self-motivated and well behaved.
Unfortunately, we cannot have a classroom full of those kids. Believe it or not, it is a task to motivate some of the children we teach. Some just cannot see the importance of education. It bothers me to see children who are aspiring to be nothing. Some come to school to hang out and flunk out. Some are more concerned about having a good time rather than getting a good education. They miss many opportunities and find out later in life they have wasted precious time.
H. Jackson Brown said, “Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” When we fail to take advantage of our educational opportunities today, it is tomorrow that we dwell on the would of, could of and should of. Take seriously now your education and you will never regret it.
I want to challenge the students this year to think of school as a job. From the time the bell rings to start the school day, stay on task. Study, work hard and give your best. Socialize when it is time to socialize. Have fun learning. Come to school prepared. Be like a sponge and soak up all that you can. Ask questions when you do not understand and be serious about your education.
I challenge parents to talk to your children and reiterate the importance of getting a good education. Meet with the teachers and support them. Talk to your children about what they did in school. Make sure they do their homework and check it, please.
If your children tell you they do not have homework, make sure you check it out. Check on your children’s progress. Do not wait until your child is about to fail to do something. Our children need parental pressure rather than peer pressure.
I believe education requires commitment from the school system, students and parents. If we work together, we can accomplish the task of educating our future doctors, lawyers, teachers and presidents.
I challenge you to be all you can be. I will close in the words of Mark Twain. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Let’s have a great school year in Liberty County.

Jackson is pastor of the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and the president of the United Ministerial Alliance.
 

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