Sometimes We Just Need a Little Help…
By Cecilia Gibbs, Assistant Principal Rock Solid Christian Academy
It’s normal for parents to feel overwhelmed from time to time. Your child may be struggling with a particular subject, have difficulty with time management (see my previous blog post), or is challenged with learning disabilities (we’ll address this in a future post). The most important thing for you to remember is that you're not in this alone!
This past summer I had the privilege of attending the National Conference for University-Model® schools in Dallas, Texas. The keynote speaker at this event was Dr. Kathy Koch.* Dr. Kathy has a special love for kids and much wisdom concerning educational issues and parenting. While at the UMSI conference I attended Dr. Kathy’s workshop entitled, “Transforming Kids Hearts.” During this workshop Dr. Kathy discussed four roles every effective educator must play:
Role 1: Teach
We expect compliance from our student, but need to recognize that sin nature is still present. Because of this, it’s important as teachers that we “purposely teach” our students. In other words, always be willing to explain, define, and clarify.
Role 2: Coach
A good coach breaks down complicated tasks into manageable pieces. This is clearly communicated, one step at a time. A good coach sees the task as a whole and is able to provide the tools needed for accomplishing each component of the task. An effective coach is willing to re-teach and encourage practice without shame or blame. A good coach understands the complexity of the expected tasks and is compassionate. Most importantly, a good coach looks for progress, not perfection.
Role 3: Cheerleader
Cheerleaders are always on the sidelines, never in the game, and are there for the entire game, from start to finish. Great cheerleaders know when to change the cheer, meaning they are sincere, present, and consistent. Effective cheerleaders keep cheering, even if the team is losing. Cheerleaders can’t win the game for the players, but can encourage emotionally, spiritually and physically.
NOTE: It’s impossible to effectively cheer without first teaching and coaching well!
Role 4: Referee
Being a good referee is not necessarily enjoyable. Referees must know what is right and wrong, and as Dr. Kathy says, are able to “call a sin a sin.” In other words, good refs are able to blow the whistle when needed. (Dr. Kathy used basketball in this analogy. A basketball referee blows the whistle when a player travels. Traveling is against the rules and there is a consequence for this action.) As a referee, we need to see ourselves as God’s agents, but also must be careful how we correct. A good referee sets the policies and expectations, and follows through with consistency.
Teaching, coaching, cheerleading and refereeing is a balancing act. We must be careful to avoid emphasizing one role over the others (eg. acting as a referee all the time, rather than teaching and coaching). If we’re doing it correctly, we’ll referee less when we are able to teach, coach and cheer better.
All this sounds great, but when we’re in the moment, how do we discern which role is best for our student? Dr. Kathy encourages us to keep the following in mind:
Parents, as you endeavor to be a better teacher, coach, cheerleader and referee, be sure to start each day with prayer! Please don’t let anxiety and fear take over your motivation to keep training your child. Cast all your worries and concerns to the Lord. Find strength in conversing with Him and find peace of mind in the Word. It's tough to be a parent and a Christian parent at that, but support is available to you. This is a special beauty of the University-Model® community as we partner together. Be expectant and know that you're not in this alone!
Philippians 4: 6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
*Dr. Kathy is the Founder and President of Celebrate Kids, Inc., based out of Fort Worth, Texas and has influenced parents, students, and educators all across the world. She is an outstanding speaker, able to address difficult issues with wonderful humor and confidence. Dr. Kathy has her own podcast, has been a frequent guest on Focus on the Family, and has authored several books such as: Screens and Teens and 8 Great Smarts, and Start with the Heart: How to Motivate Your Kids to Be Compassionate, Responsible, and Brave. Here’s the link to Dr. Kathy’s website: https://celebratekids.com