A Word From the Head
November 13, 2014
Mr. Rod Gilbert, Head of School
I was in a Regents Homeroom Mom Coffee today with Mrs. Melanie Sharpless. An annual tradition since 2008, this discussion covered a wide range of topics regarding school construction, curriculum and finances.
Melanie stated that, following a student's visit to her office for a behavioral infraction, she purposefully seeks to connect with the student away from her office. She tries to get them to make eye contact, and if there is a little nervousness she will get on a knee and say, “Hey, you and I are okay. We are doing this together.”
This happened yesterday. The little boy was sheepish at first, but a moment later you could see his shoulders move with an exhale of relief.
Mrs. Sharpless is exhibiting a lovely picture of redemption. Her story reminded me of a “Word from the Head” article that I wrote in 2007 about the movie The Lion King. Here is an oldie but goodie….
Teaching Him a Lesson
Have you ever seen The Lion King? It is the story of a young cub going through life's lessons and then eventually becoming the Lion King. Angie and I had the honor of seeing the musical on Broadway with the Class of 2007 this spring. It was great!!
One scene depicts a moment when the father (Lion King) must discipline his young lion, Simba. The young cub was told by his father to stay away from the elephant bones graveyard, but he disobeyed. Worse than that, he took his little lioness girlfriend to the forbidden area. His father does not delay in rebuking his reckless son, and he explained in full detail why it was wrong. There was no relativism. The action was wrong. The young lion cub had made a mistake. But does the father stop there?
No. The scene fades and some moments pass, and the father talks about lineage, generational responsibility and duty. And, then it gets quiet. The next scene brought tears to my eyes.
The father, treating sin as far away as the East is to the West, begins to wrestle playfully with his son. They tumble in a field, laugh, and enjoy a "man-young man" reconnection. That is what I call a well-crafted delay switch mechanism. If you do it too soon after the rebuke, the child's attention is not gained. Wait a little while, and be subtle.
We adults often find ourselves in the situation of confronting a young person. But we must let the sin and rebuke fade into the background. The rebuked child needs a reconnection; even if it is a pat on the back a few hours later. Getting overly verbal in the "reconnection" deadens the spirit of the action. The reconnection communicates to the child,
"Our connection supersedes the disciplinary moment from earlier today. Maybe you were punished, but that is beyond my thoughts now. I have NOT withdrawn my intimate love for you. Now, let's move on together in this journey of life."
While we are on the related subject of parent education, click here to visit our Parent Education Program (PEP) page and read William Glasgow’s address from the last Dads’ Lunch. It is rich with wisdom on ways to engage in your child’s education and how it will benefit you, your marriage, and your children. Then peruse ‘The Bookshelf’ list of picks. Better yet, visit “The Bookshelf” in person in Grammar Hall. This cozy spot in our lobby invites you to sit a spell and take a peek between the covers of some staff/parent/student favorites.
I was in a Regents Homeroom Mom Coffee today with Mrs. Melanie Sharpless. An annual tradition since 2008, this discussion covered a wide range of topics regarding school construction, curriculum and finances. Melanie stated that, following a student's visit to her office for a behavioral infraction, she purposefully seeks to connect with the student away from her office.
Children often appeal, "But I'm not tired. I'm not ready for bed." A clever reply would be "Oh, you misunderstand; bedtime for the children is not so much for you as it is for mommy and me. Mommy and I need some time together alone in the evening. Your bedtime is built for us. So, go to bed."
Like a mighty waterfall, the value proposition of a private Christian school K-12 experience flows from a parent's vision for their child. We desire for our children to learn the three r's (reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic), surrounded by teachers who reflect our core convictions while living in today's world.
Parents bear the gift and burden of being misunderstood by their children. We are not their friends, their buds, or their crew. We are parents. That means that, oftentimes, we make mentoring judgment calls that do not make perfect sense to them. And, as the top hierarchically positioned people in the parent-child relationship, we have to learn to be ok with being misunderstood.
I can still remember the sting of the air in my lungs one winter when I failed to stop a penalty kick in the championship game. Rod, the unfortunate soccer goalie, missed the crisp shot and we lost 1-0. Did I say that I was ten years old and it was the New Hanover County Optimist Club Youth Soccer League? My soul felt so low because I let down my teammates, and I loathed the next school day when the winning team would be waiting for us on the playground.
Parenthood and mentorship reside at the core of our classical, Christian model of education because our style of education animates our human existence in profound and lovely ways. This model of education intertwines the Word of Christ and the experience of this beautiful world that Christ created.
How would you evaluate yourself as a mentor of children? Do you have the self-awareness and sense of confidence in Christ to be honest and vulnerable about your ability to truly guide them? I am not just talking about parenting. How would you evaluate your skills at coaching a flag football team where you manage the children, their parents, and volunteer parents who are coaching alongside you?
To be vulnerable and honest takes courage.
If I were to pick just one question to be painted on our walls, etched into the windows, and slated on banners, it would be: What defines an excellent teacher at Regents?
After 28 months of Vision 20/20 Phase 1 Construction, we are crossing the finish line. Whew! It was a wild ride!! Here are the five most common questions about our campus construction that we have received this summer...
Join us Thursday, September 4 at 8:30 a.m. at the home of Stacey and Mark Moore, 6000 Eleos Circle, as we welcome new moms to Regents and honor the mothers of the Class of 2015. All moms are invited. We hope you will plan to attend this special morning tradition. It is a wonderful opportunity to cultivate new friendships while celebrating a new school year and learning about upcoming RPC events. Click here for invitation.
Yes, the word "dad" is a verb. How do you dad? Almost all commercials and sit-coms typecast us dads as incompetent, big children. It's insulting! Do yourself a favor and check out this YouTube commercial that really hit home for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GYxH2-WeZY.
Summers 2012 and 2013 were about asphalt, floodplains, concrete, bricks, trees, modulars, irrigation, berms, water flow, limestone, and building Rhetoric Hall.
In Summer 2014 we advanced two highly needed and complex software systems, representing Phase 2 of our Information Technology (IT) strategic plan.
School is almost here! I am looking forward to seeing old friends and forging relationships with the new families in our community. As we approach the starting point of a new school year, I want to share some thoughts about another starting point - the first of seven classical/cardinal and theological virtues.
Did you know that you are NOW in a triumphant parade as fellow Christians? Did you know that you are an aroma of life for people all around you? Did you know that you exude light for others to see? Sounds fantastic! You are a good smelling parade that lights up the world. What does that mean?
The word rememberwhenisms – though not in the American Heritage Dictionary – nonetheless holds an important role in the human heart. It usually goes with, "Hey guys, remember when we took that tractor out of the barn and . . . ." or "Remember the year it rained so hard at the football game that we crammed ALL of the fans into the Event Center?"
The Regents Parent Council (RPC) functions as probably the BEST and MOST EXCELLENT school-parent group in the United States. Yes, I am biased, but I am also right. I have been reflecting on the dynamism of our RPC because it has been such a great RPC year – once again – and because I am delivering a workshop speech at an educator's conference this summer about our RPC.
Last week I attended a conference in Boston and had the extra bonus and privilege of visiting my daughter Katie, a sophomore at Gordon College. As I sat with her having coffee on the beach, thoughts of ditching the conference and spending the weekend with her had to be pushed back like the dirt the giant bulldozer is moving on our fields across the street. This summer Katie will be working at Oxford in London. True to the Regents mission, her heart has filled with knowledge and emotion and she has confidently set sail for the adventures ahead.
Today is "College T-shirt Day" for our 74 seniors. You can feel their excitement as they anticipate the future that their college choices may bring. But before they can finish the final stretch in their high school careers, there is one more big and exciting hurdle – Senior Thesis presentations.
Paul says that we often entertain angels and we are not even aware that they are watching. That goes for people too. People are watching you and me. Guess what? They are watching our Regents students off campus as well. Mr. Acosta sent me this email recently about the outcome of a married couple watching our students.
You possess a treasure deep in your soul if your grandparents demonstrated a belief in the material, bodily, historically truthful resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Silver and gold are nice. Resurrection of the Savior transforms. In fact, Paul affirmed, if we do not have the resurrection, then we have NOTHING.
Last week I talked about the blending of Word and Life as a part of a teaching and mentorship model. Let's take it one step further. Here is a light-hearted story that happened at our Regents Cup on Monday.
The blending of WORD and LIFE is beautifully explained in the first two chapters of I Thessalonians by the Apostle Paul to his friends. In short, he gave him the Word of God and he also gave his life. He ends the passage by saying, "You (my disciples of Thessalonica) are my joy and my crown." Have you ever been a mentor's "crown"? Are there people in your life who you are mentoring who KNOW by your investment of Word and Life that they believe in their hearts that you see them as your CROWN and JOY?
Mrs. Melanie Sharpless, our new Head of Grammar School, visited campus earlier this week. As she finishes out her duties as Head of School of Logic in Dallas, we communicate frequently about her transition to leadership in our Grammar School. She spent time with many of you – the Grammar School Team, Senior Staff, Regents Parent Council - but not all of you. That will come in due time. For now, I must say that I am encouraged by the mutual enthusiasm between her and our community.
Jesus demonstrated His desire for our hands and hearts to be busy with His kingdom work when he fed the 5,000 with the help of the disciples and a little boy. If He can conquer the grave, then He can miraculously feed 5,000 without help. His call for us to serve is why Ministerium occupies the fourth quadrant of our school crest. The Standard states, "Our worship, love, and devotion to God are not complete unless they then flow out of words and deeds to our fellow man." Below are a few ways our Upper School has been engaging in Ministerium this year.
As I write this article from my desk in Austin, five staff members, 31 parent chaperones and 75 juniors are somewhere in Paris. Today is day five of the junior's twelve-day Europe class trip.
As Dr. Swan stated last week, nothing makes us prouder than when our students achieve their goals and use the gifts God has blessed them with to serve this world. But how can we help our students decide what it is they want to do when they graduate from Regents?
This week's article is written by one of our School of Rhetoric science teachers, Dr. Christina Swan. Dr. Swan received her Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from UCSD and studied HIV gene therapy. She continues to do virus research during her summer break at UT so she can stay on top of the latest science advancements and bring that knowledge back to the classroom.