A watchful love, an alertness to have one Mind

Around some schools, signs are posted proclaiming "Drug-free zone." Drug-pushing interlopers are warned away. There are other signs—quiet ones—that can be posted in the hearts of educators, parents, and young people. These signs announce an alertness toward mental interlopers, negative influences that would obstruct the progress of students, teachers, families. These signs might read "Peer-pressure-free zone," "Racial-strife-and-prejudice-free zone," "Fear-free zone."

We asked seven educators to explore the role of a spiritual watchfulness in supporting students' learning. Those interviewed are Donna Bradley, mathematics teacher in a Florida high school with a large number of students from minority backgrounds; Cindy Cowen, language arts teacher and science mentor for a sizable California middle school; Sandy Cowen, principal of a rural California school (kindergarten through eighth grade) with many students from Native American backgrounds; Martha Dismont, director of a private, nonprofit tutorial center in Bermuda; Dan Littlejohn fifth-grade teacher in a Wisconsin mill town; Heather Littlejohn, a third-grade teacher in a different school in the same Wisconsin town; Fran Turetsky, teacher of French and math in an ethnically diverse secondary school in Los Angeles. All schools mentioned are public schools; the tutorial center, though private, works with public-school students.

Certainty of purpose
September 25, 1995

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