by Martha Strickland
This article is a response to the EMQ article “Boarding School Staff: How to Get the Best,” by Glenn Taylor and David Pollock, January 1995.
This article is a response to the EMQ article "Boarding School Staff: How to Get the Best," by Glenn Taylor and David Pollock, January 1995.
Almost all new missionary recruits I meet who are parents believe their children should not attend boarding schools. The horror stories are out there. Everyone knows someone whose “life was destroyed” because they were sent to boarding school. But times have changed. What used to be true in MK boarding schools is no longer the case.
In the past, boarding school personnel were mainly chosen on the basis of availability, not on character and giftedness, under the assumption that any successful parent or teacher could step into the boarding school role and do well. The stories of the past have proven this assumption wrong.
Finally, a wake-up call has been heard. Through the research of people like Glenn Taylor and David Pollock, a new training program came into being. The MK-Prefield Orientation has assisted many MK schools and missions in more careful screening and preparation of boarding school personnel. The stories have begun to change from horror to joy. A healthy and carefully chosen staff can make all the difference.
The story is not over. Glenn and David point out the necessity of not only screening with a well-researched “template for excellence in MK care” and subscribing to a good training program, but also the importance of being a part of the “process of correcting the aim of imperfect and developing people.”
MK schools heard the wake-up call. Good research and training are now in place. But that is only a start. It’s now time for the mission agencies to wake up. We need to take ownership of the importance of prefield training for all boarding school personnel, both short term and long term. Do we require use of this research for screening, and this preparation for all new boarding school personnel recruits?
We also need to seek ways of providing for continual training, accountability, and encouragement for these who significantly contribute to the lives of our MKs. It’s time to heed the wake-up call for the good of our children.
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