Amarah's Corner: A teacher’s point of view

Hi! My name is Amarah. Kids are important to me, and they’re important to Jesus, too.

Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 (KJV), “Whatever you’ve done unto the least of these (kids), you’ve done it unto me.”

“Kids like me” are kids whose parents are drug addicts, and alcoholics; kids who have suffered, or who are suffering, abuse and neglect on multiple levels; and kids who are victims of bullying.

Hey kids like me! I’m sharing a letter today from a retired music teacher who knows what she’s talking about! One of my goals is to stop kids from being kicked out of band/music/sports in school because, “their grades aren’t good enough,” especially if that kid’s home environment includes substance abuse, because that passion is that kid’s lifeline. How hard is that to understand?

I was kicked-out of band and couldn’t play my trumpet in middle school because my grades weren’t good enough. But, I discovered that parental drug use, and associated abuse/neglect, had affected my ability to process things in the spatial area of my brain in subjects like math, and in testing. It wasn’t my fault, but it felt like it was my fault. I got depressed, cried all the time and thought about suicide when they kicked me out of band. Kicking kids out of band/music/sports only makes their grades get worse and can permanently damage and lower their self-esteem because the kid thinks he/she is worthless.

      A Teacher’s Point of View

From a teacher’s point of view, it is easy to see how drugs affect everyone…from grandparents to parents and on to the young and innocent children. It not only robs children of their learning but it also robs the carefree times of youth. Young children take on responsibilities beyond their years — whether it’s caring for siblings or possibly their parents. I have seen grandparents and even great grandparents, barely able to walk, bring young children to school and school activities. Not only do drugs affect the victim, drugs affect those closest to them — the very ones they should love and care most about.

But…drugs also affect society. Schools and teachers now not only teach, they must nurture, feed and protect these young people taking on the responsibility of the parents. Of course, this takes time away from the teaching and learning that could and should be happening. Teachers see hunger, abuse, neglect, sadness, and loss of hope.

Music is the one joy that can easily be given to these children at school. Music lifts the sprits like nothing else. Everyone can participate — not just the fastest, or smartest, the rich or the poor.  And every child should be able to participate. Schools should not discriminate when it comes to music. Students with poor grades are often the best musicians because music uses a different part of the brain than academic learning.

As a former music teacher, I have had students come to me after they’ve graduated and tell me how much music has enhanced their reading, math, history, and other core subjects throughout their school careers. Research shows that stroke victims recover more quickly if they’ve learned to read music.

Now, more than ever, we need to advocate for music in our schools. Music should be for all students — not tied to grade point average or the elite. No more should schools discriminate who can and can’t be in the music program. Our society can’t afford to slide backwards any longer.

Amen! Thank you for your letter! And, thank you for reading my column. Please write to me at Amarah’s Childrens Foundation “Kids Like Me” P.O. Box 354, Alamosa, CO 81101. If you know a kid like me, or parent who is an addict, or alcoholic, please tell him or her about “Amarah’s Corner, Kids Like Me” in the Valley Courier newspaper and tell them to contact me, or you can contact me on their behalf. And, if you know a kid like me, or parent, who does not have a Bible, but would like to have one, please, contact me and I will make sure he or she gets a Bible of their very own, “…and all the earth may know there is a God…” (1 Samuel 17:46, KJV).

Kids Like Me offers non-denominational World Bible School (WBS) Bible Correspondence Courses (free of charge/postage paid) in English/Spanish to kids like me (ages 8-12), and their parents, too! Even if you’re not a kid like me, or if you’re a teen or adult, who would like the WBS Bible Correspondence Courses, send your name, age, and address and I’ll get you started ASAP! I’m hoping to hear from you soon!

My goal is to help kids like me, and I want to help their parents, too. Until next time, remember, Jesus Loves You, and JESUS IS LORD!