Let Hope Rise

Thursday, December 5, 2019

While discussing faith, I am reminded of a lyric from an old religious song: “Let hope rise and darkness tremble.” That is a powerful and optimistic statement for those who share a strong belief in God.

I am also convinced that our purpose in life is directly linked to the clarity of our own vision for the future. Too many people imagine a bleak and hopeless future, and it shows in choices they make in their work, their relations and in their outlook on life. The glass is half empty. Darkness and desolation will always be all they see and find.

I had an opportunity to spend a few hours with a friend of mine, Karolyn Marino, as she taught her Kindergarten class. She was bursting with enthusiasm and energy to match that of her pupils. Karolyn told me that her job was not only to reach every child in her class, no matter their level of knowledge on a subject, but to also make sure that her classroom was one of optimism and hopefulness. Her interaction with children went beyond the walls of the schools. The children knew no matter what awaited them at home, for the hours that they were in Miss Karolyn’s class, they were warmly welcomed and loved. She is also one of the top teachers in her school district. Kids learn when they are loved.

As one of her goals, Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn stated she wants to make sure that our schools are equipped to serve the academic and non-academic needs of all kids. That means that schools and districts will have better access to online tools, statewide partnerships and more resources for schools. That is a good and positive direction for our educators and our students. We look forward to working with her on this agenda in Tennessee.

Schwinn also has brought up a subject she wants to champion: character education. This too, should help our students make more meaningful contributions to our society. In a world where it is getting more difficult to determine right from wrong, maybe we do need to step back and look at some of those basic attributes we call character development and reinforce them at school. Loving our neighbors should be innate, but if it is not, we can show the way by practicing what we preach. 

Martin Luther King said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.” King's words still ring true.

I am a believer in public education. But I also understand that what that we have gone down a few rabbit holes and lost focus at times. Change will continue and, in education at least, more change is on the way. We should welcome the debate over change in public education and continue the discussion, knowing that a one size fits all strategy does not work in any school, district or community.

Public education is at a crossroads in Tennessee. People say it is broken and beyond repair. I tell those critics that they are wrong. We succeed every single day in small victories across our classrooms and schools. Our success far outweighs our failures and we can acknowledge those failures and take on those challenges head-on.

Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. When the light of hope comes, darkness has no place. Darkness is driven away by light. Let hope rise and darkness tremble. Public education has a bright future.

J.C. Bowman
Executive Director of Professional Educators of Tennessee


National Coalition Of 100 Black Women Stands In Support Of Breonna Taylor’s Family

May We Never Get What We Deserve

We Support Bill Trohanis For Mayor Of Walden - And Response


The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Incorporated stands in support of the family of the late Breonna Taylor as they deal with not only the circumstances of Breonna’s death but now with ... (click for more)

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5 “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.” – 1 John 2:9 Some that ... (click for more)

We strongly support Bill Trohanis for mayor of Walden. Under his leadership the town and its three jewels (the Pumpkin Patch, McCoy Farm, and the Bachman Center) have thrived in spite of the ... (click for more)



Opinion

National Coalition Of 100 Black Women Stands In Support Of Breonna Taylor’s Family

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Incorporated stands in support of the family of the late Breonna Taylor as they deal with not only the circumstances of Breonna’s death but now with the outcome of the Grand Jury seated for this case. Media outlets have just reported that one former officer has been indicted and two other officers who fired shots have not been charged. ... (click for more)

May We Never Get What We Deserve

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5 “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.” – 1 John 2:9 Some that planned to read this have already turned away. Why? Well, the truth hurts. We either accept the truth or we turn and reject it. This year has seen so much rejection of the truth. You may be ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hakeem Calls For Probe Of Hamilton County Election Office; Hargett Said He Has Confidence In The Office

State Rep. Yusuf Hakeem said he was asking for a state investigation of the Hamilton County Election Commission. In a letter to Secretary of State Tre Hargett, he said he ha s great "anguish and concern" that the county election office is "becoming a petri dish for undermining the fundamental right to free and fair elections." Secretary of State Hargett responded, "I will ... (click for more)

Former County EMT Charged With Vehicular Homicide Is Back Out Of Jail After Pretrial Services "Error"

A former county EMT accused of vehicular homicide was taken into custody in court on Monday based on five alleged violations of his pretrial release. But Justin Whaley was back out of jail on Wednesday after it was agreed that the report of the violations was unfounded. His attorney, Lee Davis, said, " The report filed by Pretrial Services was in error. There was no alcohol ... (click for more)

Sports

CFC Ready For The Cosmos

Chattanooga FC’s first foray into the NISA playoff bubble was a success. They started their title march by stomping the LA Force, a team coach Peter Fuller called “perhaps the most complete team out of anybody” in the tournament. Darwin Lom and Sean “Hot Sauce” Hoffstatter both scored, but the Alec Reddington-led defense was also superb. “Personally, I look at every game as ... (click for more)

The Champions Club Announces Rebrand To The Ooltewah Club

The Champions Club, a private lifestyle and golf club located in Ooltewah, announces the official rebranding and renaming of the club to The Ooltewah Club. The rebrand celebrates the recent completion of a more than $1 million renovation to the facilities and coincides with the new ownership and management company’s commitment to the continued improvement of the club. Overseen ... (click for more)