Many people would agree that parents often have the most powerful influence on a child's life, and it may have been true during your childhood as well. In my own case, the most influential person was my father, a courageous Baptist pastor. Hopefully, someday your children will also say something like Abraham Lincoln: "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."
However, as a child grows older and experiences a natural inclination toward independence from his parents, teachers can wield more influence. Jesus pointed out the potential danger of a teacher's influence in the context of his parable that asked, "Can the blind lead the blind?" Christ said, "The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master" (Luke 6:40). Put another way, the NASB translation reads, "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher."
This is why parents should have the power to select the people who will teach their children. A school teacher may believe that his or her personal beliefs and lifestyle outside the classroom have little bearing on the student's life, but such is not the case. It is almost impossible for a teacher to avoid promoting the attitudes and values that harmonize with his own beliefs or avoid dismissing those that clash with his beliefs. In fact, we've probably all heard of teachers who use the classroom to openly advocate positions contrary to God's law.
For this reason, it may be a mistake for us as parents to isolate our children from other teaching adults. By example or by simple unawareness, some of us may teach our children to be procrastinators or fast-fading enthusiasts, drudges or dilettantes, cynics or overly-credulous individuals. After all, Jesus Christ was the only perfect teacher, so it can be of great benefit to our children to expose them to other godly adults who model areas of strength where we are unknowingly weak.
On a side note, it might be good to add here that it is not just classroom teachers who are potentially dangerous. Going back to my own experience, it was not a visible teacher who set me on the wrong life path during my high school years, but it was my cleverly written biology textbook that convinced me that Darwin's theory of evolution was true. Much to my harm at the time, this caused me to reject the authority of the Bible and all that went with it. Thus, the importance of a biblically sound curriculum is another significant element influencing a child's education.
With a Christ-centered curriculum and a carefully selected staff, Alpha Omega Academy® can assure parents that if they enroll their distance learning students in AOA, their children will be influenced by Christian teachers who model the kind of lives parents hope their children will live. In this kind of partnership between parents and teachers, it doesn't matter who has the most influence on a teenage student because parents and teachers together can direct students into the ever-brightening path of godly wisdom, the path "that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18).
Principal, Alpha Omega Academy