Saturday, July 21, 2012

Christian Teachers in the Public Schools

Yesterday I spoke with some delightful teachers at a Georgia CEAI event where we studied and discussed ways to be legal and graceful in the public schools. The personal stories were priceless, the fellowship and sharing could have gone on for hours. Christians in the public schools, we need to meet more often.  You are not alone and meeting face-to-face is empowering.  One of the attendees was Dalene Vickery Parker, the author of Christian Teachers in the Public Schools.  Naturally, I was intrigued immediately by the title, but was drawn in by her kind and gentle spirit.  Dalene has written a practical and comforting book for all of us who enter through the public school doors. She is a 16-9 educator without even knowing it! 16-9 educators are seeking to know the law and to be light in the their schools through the Fruit of the Spirit. Dalene’s book will certainly seam the threads of the tapestry of being a Christian in the public school.
On the back of her book, she states, “Whether you are a student, parent, or teacher, one thing is clear: the public schools in America are a rough place to be for kids and adults alike. If you are a Christian educator in a public school, where do you turn for uplifting and scriptural-based advice? How do you strike a balance between wanting to share the love of Christ with your students and coworkers while retaining the professionalism and religious distance expected of those within the educational community?”  Dalene organized the book into 13 Essentials for the Classroom: Learning to Pray, Learning to Fight, Learning to Wait…………(I’ll let you get the book to read the rest!)  The best part is that you really don’t have to read it from cover to cover because you can hone in on the essential you most want to learn or practice.  I just began the book myself and look forward to finishing it this weekend. She has also created a Facebook page for the book. Why not go to her page and give her a “like” to encourage this new author. 
Special thanks to Dalene for risking her finances, her name and her professionalism to help encourage all of us in the public schools.  Let’s spread the word for her especially now as we began the 2012-2013 school year.  Start the year off by establishing your spiritual plans before you write any lesson plans. Begin your school year with refreshment before you enter the hectic routine (or lack of routine) that our days in school represent.  You can purchase her book for under $13 at or at Beacon Hill Books, her publisher. She does have e-reader versions available for Kindle, Nook and iPad readers. 
One thing is for sure – we need each other. Thank you Dalene for giving us a common platform where we can unite in truth and comfort.  By the way, she said you can remember how to say her name by associating it with Mary Magdelene and then just shorten it to Dalene.  She’s just as sweet as her name.

Prayerfully yours,

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

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