Perryman Post: Marching Off the Map
We are off to a tremendous start this year. Our students are settling in and working hard. Our athletic teams are doing well - GO WARRIORS! We are so blessed and are looking for a great year.
As many of you may know our faculty and staff read a book this summer entitled Marching Off the Map, by Tim Elmore with Andrew McPeak. The subtitle to the book is – Inspire Students to Navigate a Brand-New World. It was a very challenging and interesting read.
The first chapter was entitled What If the Future Could Talk to Us? Opening up the first chapter was a letter that was written to a mom by her child's former high school principal. The mom and the principal were close friends. Her son, Matthew, is now 25 and long removed from high school, and the principal was grieving over the fact that Matthew was still unemployed and living at home. Please read what the principal wrote:
I felt the need to write to you today about our children. They’ve been on my mind. Now that both our kids are older, I hate to admit that we’re getting used to higher levels of anxiety and depression in them. I deeply regret our adult children are addicted to screens and meds to help them cope with life. I’m disappointed that we didn’t teach them emotional intelligence and social intelligence; work ethic and resilience; vision and leadership. These are basic skills my parents taught me, but I’m afraid they’re not getting taught at home or at school these days.
I want to apologize for the part I may have played in Matt’s developmental problems. Like too many other school leaders, I carried a narrow definition of education. During the last fifteen years, I felt it was all about test scores and keeping up with Finland and Singapore. As I look back, it appears the more we pushed them academically, the more we failed at teaching them life.
That is an amazing admission! I am in no way suggesting that academics should not be a focus. However, Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” Those character traits of integrity, honesty, punctuality, resourcefulness, etc. are what employers are looking for in their hires. It is what each of us prays for in a mate for our children, and at my stage, the traits I want to be found in my grandchildren.
I will be addressing different ideas over the next several “Posts” that deal with education and teaching character. I heard a saying many years ago that "character is who you are when no one else is watching." Please continue to pray for CAK, we feel your prayers each and every day! Have a wonderful day.
Because of God’s Grace,
Interim Head of School
Christian Academy of Knoxville