From the Wise Master (July, 2008)

posted May 3, 2015, 6:26 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 3, 2015, 6:26 PM ]

The Center Of Influence

Masonic history informs us that Masons have had an influential role in the development of school systems in the United States and did not seek to control education for the purpose of self-interest but favored free public education under local control.  Support to our educational systems has always been and continues to be provided by Masonic Organizations.
Masonic support assures that educational opportunity exists for all and because, beyond parents, teachers are the most influential for students! The good that can be done by an excellent teacher is remarkable! All of us can look back today and remember the one or two teachers who had a profound influence on the direction of our lives.
Teachers can mold minds and character and they are there for more than just homework.  They help students learn how to function as an adult; teach and promote leadership, and build character if the student will take the time and effort.  Just as children must be taught to read and write, solve math problems, understand science concepts and events in history, they must also be guided in developing the qualities of character that are valued by their family and the community in which they live.
While it is true that teachers are extremely influential, it is just as true that coaches, club advisors and teachers associated with other extra curricular activities wield enormous influence.  They teach qualities that cannot be imparted in a classroom.  As a result, students who put forth effort, gain self-confidence leave school with an understanding of teamwork and leadership.
Students must be motivated and teachers are a tremendous force to bring about that motivation.  Rapid recognition of student problems and appropriate action ought to result in better student comprehension and fewer behavioral problems.
It is rewarding to know that San Jose Scottish Rite Bodies are continuing this Masonic tradition and have joined with the Santa Clara County Masonic Officers Association to help sponsor a program to train teachers in problem recognition and professional development. (Please refer to the Venerable Master’s article.)

Hal Leister, 32°
Wise Master