I’ve mentioned before that I have some history with the public schools. In addition to attending a small public school in Minnesota, we had one elementary school, one middle school and one high school, my dad taught in that system. I went on to college to become a teacher and then I taught in an even smaller public school system. This district consisted of three small rural towns. One town had the elementary school, another had the middle school and finally, the third town had the high school.
I’m a big proponent of state mandated education for our children. And I’ve been a big proponent of the public schools. However, as my children age into the system, the shine is wearing off and I’ve begun to see massive flaws in the system.
At the end of last year, my wife and I finally decided to pull our kids out of the public schools. Substandard results with substandard management with substandard teachers was going to be the normal fare for the next 13 years; we already had 3 in and the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t getting any brighter.
When we started shopping for a private school we didn’t really care if the school was religious or not. All we really wanted was stability, a strong emphasis on achievement, a leadership focus and a sense of community. In the end, we choose a school as much for the community as for the achievement of it’s students. Perhaps we’re lucky in that we have a great school so close to our neighborhood. In any event, the school is Christian; non-denominational, but Christian.
As I mentioned, I grew up in rural Minnesota. It may sound strange to say, but while religion is a big part of the culture there in on prairie, it’s a very private kinda thing. It’s not the type of religion people see on TV. There is no gospel choir, there is no fire and brimstone, there’s no speaking in tongues. People don’t go around proselytizing. In fact, churches in Minnesota are able to save money because they don’t have to build the first three rows of pews [the joke is that good Lutherans don’t sit up front].
I’ve been to church all the way from Seattle to Wilmington. I’ve seen a lot of it. And in Minnesota there isn’t the holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer. We never hugged people while sharing the peace. Like I said, religion is a private kinda thing.
All of which contributed to my surprise when I attended our school’s varsity basketball game last night. It was a blow-out. Our guys beat ’em by 40. The other team was frustrated, tired and beat up. Tempers were beginning to flare. When the buzzer sounded I started to get the kids into their coats and get ready to go. However, after the players shook hands they all made their way to center court where coaches, cheerleaders, officials knelt and bowed their heads in prayer.
It was powerful.
I love our new school.