Monthly Archives: February 2018


Mrs. Lara Sowell Featured on KTRE

We are so proud of or much-beloved Latin teacher, Mrs. Lara Sowell, for the work she does as president of the Lone Star Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas. KTRE recently broadcast a story about a mobile app called NFB-NEWSLINE that featured Mrs. Sowell.

Here is the link to the KTRE story.

We appreciate you, Mrs. Sowell, and admire your courage and dedication!

 

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Love Is …

Each school day at Regents Academy, we, like all those who worship God in Christ, talk about love: we read and quote what the Bible says about love, we exhort the students to love one another, we discuss and show ways to love and prefer others, and we correct students who are not loving others. But, of course, the word “love” in our culture has been sentimentalized, trivialized, and romanticized by a million mindless pop songs, romcoms, and greeting cards into seemingly utter meaninglessness. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful tradition, but you have to admit that it does little to give us biblical clarity about what love really is! So, What is love? I love (wink wink) what Paul David Tripp had to say about love in his online devotional this week. “24 Things That Love Is” beautifully and powerfully captures so much of what the Bible teaches about what love really is and what it really means for us to love others.

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What is love?

You won’t find the best answer on the pages of Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster or Shakespeare. No, the best definition of love was established at an event, the most important event in human history: the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ’s sacrifice of love is the ultimate example of what love is and what love does. Here’s a definition I like to use:

Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving.

If we are followers of Jesus Christ and believe in the cross for salvation, then our words and actions and responses must be motivated by cruciform love. That is, love that shapes itself to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (cruci = “cross” and form = “in the shape of”).

On this Valentine’s Day, here are 23 more ways that you can express cruciform love in your daily living.

  1. LOVE IS being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.
  1. LOVE IS actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
  1. LOVE IS making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
  1. LOVE IS being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.
  1. LOVE IS being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.
  1. LOVE IS a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.
  1. LOVE IS being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.
  1. LOVE IS making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.
  1. LOVE IS being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged, but looking for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.
  1. LOVE IS being a good student of another, looking for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support them as they carry it, or encourage them along the way.
  1. LOVE IS being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the relational problems you face, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.
  1. LOVE IS being willing to always ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.
  1. LOVE IS recognizing the high value of trust in a relationship and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.
  1. LOVE IS speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack the other person’s character or assault their intelligence.
  1. LOVE IS being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt the other person into giving you what you want or doing something your way.
  1. LOVE IS being unwilling to ask another person to be the source of your identity, meaning, and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of theirs.
  1. LOVE IS the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a spouse, parent, neighbor, etc.
  1. LOVE IS a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your relationships.
  1. LOVE IS staying faithful to your commitment to treat another with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when the other person doesn’t seem deserving or is unwilling to reciprocate.
  1. LOVE IS the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of a relationship without asking for anything in return or using your sacrifices to place the other person in your debt.
  1. LOVE IS being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm a relationship, hurt the other person, or weaken the bond of trust between you.
  1. LOVE IS refusing to be self-focused or demanding, but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.
  1. LOVE IS daily admitting to yourself, the other person, and God that you are unable to be driven by a cruciform love without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.
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7 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew

I’m a teacher. I often think about my students’ parents and wonder about their perceptions of my classes or me as a teacher. I’m also a parent. I often think about my children’s teachers and wonder what perceptions they have about me as a parent. I’m quite sure they often wonder, “What exactly goes on in that Bryant house every night?!”

It’s a delicate thing, this relationship between teachers and parents, and parents and teachers. I’m so glad our relationships at Regents Academy are so constructive and peaceful so much of the time. But it’s always good to think about ways to work together better, for the benefit of the formation of our children. In that spirit, I offer these “7 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew,” compiled by Lisa Collier Cool for Good Housekeeping. I hope they’re helpful for you, as they were for me.

  1. Don’t be a stranger!

Talk to your child’s teacher early and often. Back-to-school night shouldn’t be the only time you connect, but it’s a great time to introduce yourself and find out the best way to contact her in the future. Then stay in touch with updates on how things are going at home, questions about your child and his work, or to schedule conferences to head off trouble (should you worry about that string of C’s?). Most teachers have e-mail at school, which is a great way to check in.

  1. Learning doesn’t stop at 3:15.

You can help the teacher do a better job by encouraging your child to show you something he’s working on at school, suggests Ron Martucci, who teaches fourth grade in Pelham, New York. It doesn’t have to be a big deal: “Ask him to demonstrate how he does long division or to read his book report out loud,” says Martucci. “Every time your child gets a chance to show off what he knows, it builds confidence.”

  1. Keep your child organized.

That means helping teachers with the paper chase. “I spend way too much time tracking down tests or forms I’ve sent home for a parent’s signature,” says Judy Powell, a fifth-grade teacher from Richmond, Virginia. Usually, the missing items are crumpled up in the bottom of the child’s backpack, along with lunch leftovers and other clutter. Powell’s solution: Have your child empty his backpack every day as part of a regular after-school routine. Set up a special place, such as a box in the kitchen, where he can put the day’s papers, and provide another spot, such as a desk drawer, for old assignments that you want to save. A bright-colored folder is a good idea, too, for toting homework and signed papers to and from school. And about those supplies: Keep plenty on hand. “Kids run out of pencils and paper, and it’ll be three weeks before they’ll remember to tell you,” says Powell.

  1. Let your child make mistakes.

Don’t forget, he’s learning. Teachers don’t want perfect students, they want students who try hard. “Sometimes parents get caught up in thinking every assignment has to be done exactly right, and they put too much pressure on their child,” says Brian Freeman, a second-grade teacher from Red Spring, North Carolina. “But it’s OK for kids to get some problems wrong. It’s important for us to see what students don’t know, so we can go over the material again.” Is your child struggling with an assignment? Help him brainstorm possible solutions. If he’s still stuck, resist the temptation to write a note. Instead, encourage your child to take charge by asking the teacher for help the next day. Hands off bigger assignments, too, says Marty Kaminsky, a fourth-grade teacher in Ithaca, New York. “I assigned a project on inventors, and several kids brought in amazingly detailed reports with slide-shows. They looked great, but they clearly weren’t the work of a nine-year-old,” he says. “I was much happier with the posters with the pictures glued on crooked, because I knew those children did the work themselves. What matters isn’t the final result; it’s letting a child have ownership of the project.”

  1. If the teacher deserves a good grade, give her one.

Teaching isn’t easy, and there are days when a child has a bad day, or a teacher feels like crying because a parent speaks to her harshly. So why not e-mail or call when your child enjoys a class event or says something nice about the instructor? And if you feel the teacher is doing a good job, let the principal know. Volunteering is another way to demonstrate your enthusiasm and support, even if you only have time to help out once a year. It shows your child, and his teacher, that you really care about his education.

  1. Stay involved, even when you don’t know the material.

You can provide moral support and be your child’s cheerleader no matter how well (or poorly) you did in a certain subject. “Parents tell me they didn’t take trigonometry or flunked chemistry, so how can they check the homework?” says Tim Devine, a high school social science teacher in Chicago. “But we don’t expect you to be an expert on every subject.” Just knowing a parent is paying attention can be very motivating for a student.

  1. The teacher’s on your side, give her the benefit of the doubt.

Rachel James, a third-grade teacher in Reson, Florida, was having a hard time with one of her students. For days, the boy had been disruptive, rolling his eyes and sighing dramatically whenever anyone spoke to him. Naturally, she had to reprimand him. “His mom called and accused me of picking on her son,” says James. “When I told her what was going on, she was shocked.” After the mom had calmed down, they worked out some ways to change the boy’s behavior. “A lot of parents go into attack mode when their child complains about a teacher,” says James. “Or they take the problem to the principal, so the teacher feels blindsided. But parents need to get all the facts before they react.”

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Thanks for showing so much appreciation and understanding of your child’s teachers, Regents parents!

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Kindergarten Celebrates 100 Days with Heartbeat

Each year the Kindergarten class celebrates their 100th day of school by collecting supplies for Heartbeat Pregnancy Center in Nacogdoches. This year the kindergarteners, with the help of the Regents students and families, collected more than 100 receiving blankets, diapers, onesies and baby booties to donate to our friends at Heartbeat. Great job, kindergarten class!

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A Crucial Question

Who are the most important people in your family? This is a crucial question that some parents may not have considered but that is consequential for all parents. Even if we have not actively considered our answer, the way we parent undoubtedly reveals our view on the matter. Psychologist and author John Rosemond answers the question with directness, clarity, and wisdom. His column appeared in newspapers last year, and his answer to the question is quite evident in the title: “Your kids should not be the most important people in the family.” I offer his column to you here as food for thought.

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I recently asked a married couple who have three kids, none of whom are yet teens, “Who are the most important people in your family?” Like all good moms and dads of this brave new millennium, they answered, “Our kids!”

“Why?” I then asked. “What is it about your kids that gives them that status?”

And like all good moms and dads of this brave new millennium, they couldn’t answer the question other than to fumble with appeals to emotion.

So, I answered the question for them: “There is no reasonable thing that gives your children that status.”

I went on to point out that many if not most of the problems they’re having with their kids – typical stuff, these days – are the result of treating their children as if they, their marriage and their family exist because of the kids when it is, in fact, the other way around. Their kids exist because of them and their marriage and thrive because they have created a stable family.

Furthermore, without them, their kids wouldn’t eat well, have the nice clothing they wear, live in the nice home in which they live, enjoy the great vacations they enjoy and so on. Instead of lives that are relatively carefree (despite the drama to the contrary that they occasionally manufacture), their children would be living lives full of worry and want.

This issue is really the heart of the matter. People my age know it’s the heart of the matter because when we were kids it was clear to us that our parents were the most important people in our families. And that, right there, is why we respected our parents and that, right there, is why we looked up to adults in general. Yes, Virginia, once upon a time in the United States of America, children were second-class citizens, to their advantage.

It was also clear to us – I speak, of course, in general terms, albeit accurate – that our parents’ marriages were more important to them than their relationships with us. Therefore, we did not sleep in their beds or interrupt their conversations. The family meal, at home, was regarded as more important than after-school activities. Mom and Dad talked more – a lot more – with one another than they talked with you. For lack of pedestals, we emancipated earlier and much more successfully than have children since.

The most important person in an army is the general. The most important person in a corporation is the CEO. The most important person in a classroom is the teacher. And the most important person in a family are the parents.

The most important thing about children is the need to prepare them properly for responsible citizenship. The primary objective should not be raising a straight-A student who excels at three sports, earns a spot on the Olympic swim team, goes to an A-list university and becomes a prominent brain surgeon. The primary objective is to raise a child such that community and culture are strengthened.

“Our child is the most important person in our family” is the first step toward raising a child who feels entitled.

You don’t want that. Unbeknownst to your child, he doesn’t need that. And neither does America.

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Feast Prep

The 4th, 8th, 11th, and 12th grades are busily preparing for their upcoming Medieval Feast presentations. The students are collaborating to research and prepare Powerpoint slideshows, puppet shows, and demonstrations on various aspects of Medieval life and society that they will present at the feast in February. It’s a joy to see them working together!

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