Education · Family · Leadership

Conveyor Belt Glaze

A while ago, I had the privilege to hear Oliver DeMille give a talk at a LIFE Leadership Conference in which he discussed the amount of glaze that people develop over the course of their lives.  I knew this was real, I see it every day in adults.  I see it often in interactions with teenagers.  I haven’t really noticed it with children until this year.  I am in my second year of teaching Sunday School at my church. This year I am teaching 3rd and 4th graders.  I have a mix of kids that go to public school, as well as kids that attend our church’s parochial school.

I am astounded every week at how unprepared these 9 and 10-year olds are to have a discussion about God’s Word, with one or two exceptions.  I try to use a leadership style with my students- reading through the text and asking questions.  I try to avoid lecturing at all.  These kids get lectured at every day they’re in school.  More lecturing from an “expert” is not what they need.  They need someone to challenge them and make them think.  I am actually surprised how difficult it is to use leadership education, asking questions and trying to go deeper, with kids who have only known the conveyor belt.  Even as young as my students are, their glaze is already massive, and growing.

I have two students who won’t participate at all.  There are one or two that will really think and go deeper into topics.  The rest of the students will answer a question with “the right” answer.  Very few of my students can even communicate what they think something means, or could mean.  At this young age they have already been programmed to fear being wrong and that there is only one right answer.

My time with these kids is very limited, 45 minutes a week.  I pray that I am having an impact in their life, on their thinking, but I just don’t get enough time with them.  They are getting pounded 7 or 8 hours-a-day, 5 days-a-week, with conveyor belt training.  How can I compete with that?

My point with all of this is this:
You are reading this.  I could just as likely be talking about your child.  What are you doing to give your son or daughter a leadership education?  You are responsible for the amount of glaze your child has already.  When will you get the courage to get your child off the conveyor belt?  It’s not too late, but one day soon it will be.  You are responsible for preparing your children for adulthood.  How prepared are they?

Jason Fredrick
JFL Education Solutions

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