Why Many Are Frustrated With Christian Schools

(Photo: Robert F. Davis) Robert F. Davis previously served as vice president for Advancement at Bryan College in Tennessee and consulting vice president for Advancement and Alumni Affairs at Liberty University in Virginia.
(Photo: Robert F. Davis)
Robert F. Davis previously served as vice president for Advancement at Bryan College in Tennessee and consulting vice president for Advancement and Alumni Affairs at Liberty University in Virginia.

For about one half of my professional life I was in the classroom teaching. For the other half it was administration which, by the way, involve quite a bit of teaching. While both of these experiences involved teaching, the venues were light years apart. The result of all of this, “I’m tired!”

Some will say, “teaching is teaching.” Others will argue, “if you have the gift, teaching is never just teaching, it adjusts for every student, every venue.”

Actually it’s not that simple. Teaching, pedagogy if you will, is quite complex, shouldn’t be taken lightly, and requires complete commitment and concentration.

For me, teaching in the classroom was natural. I found it easy to identify learning styles, design an effective classroom experience, and determine reliable evaluation methods. Overall the students were pleased, the administrators were pleased, parents were pleased, and so was I.

So why am I so tired?

“When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all; I’m on your side. When times get rough and friends just can’t be found, like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.” (Bridge Over Troubled Water)

Well, do you, feel tired? To do this job correctly, a carefully thought out “strategic plan” needs to be developed from “goals” right down to “tactical minutia.”

After this you would think implementation would follow easily. But as a teacher you know that hassling by colleagues; unexpected and unscheduled conflicts; and insensitive, unskilled and uninformed administrators will get in the way.

And then there’s the caveat of the meddling board.

In most cases boards aren’t chosen carefully enough, but selected mostly because an individual is willing to serve. You’ll find that they are unwilling to work hard, meet too frequently for too long, and as a result begin to meddle in daily operations. These are the wrong people for the job. Even unskilled administrators will notice this because even they will discover they’re being micro-managed.

These micro-managed administrators are not without blame, they also contribute to the chaos. Too frequently they are learning on-the-job, don’t possess the gifts necessary to lead, and just weeks before they were just one of the “rank and file.”

Essentially boundaries don’t exist, job descriptions usually haven’t been developed, department heads don’t meet together, and faculty meetings don’t deal with anything substantive. That’s a lot of don’ts.

Somehow, all of this works. Things plod along going nowhere special.

The faculty complains,

Boy I’m tired!

Specifically on the administration side or as an officer, both responsible to the board, things aren’t much better.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Robert F. Davis