The world could certainly use more thoughtful, virtuous people. The common cry I hear from families who are interested in our school is that education has become more about teaching to the test than teaching to the heart. Our school’s mission is directly geared toward that need: to train the mind and improve the hearts of young people in a content-rich, liberal arts education rooted in the liberal arts and sciences.
So what do we do in our classical classrooms? How do we form citizens who know where they come from, and where they are going? Citizens who know how to avoid repeating mistakes made in our past? Citizens who can creatively solve problems and who have been formed by the repeated practice of doing the next right thing?
Classical teachers come together to challenge and support students in becoming the best version of themselves, but we can only do that if we first strive toward that end for ourselves. We seek to accomplish this through a rich, rigorous curriculum that is intended to foster deep thinking, but we pair it with appropriate supports that meet the needs of each unique soul in our classrooms. This takes a skilled, masterful teacher, and the best ones know how to innovate and adapt as they work with new challenges and problems.
Classical teachers not only push their students to meet the highest standards of knowledge and ethical decisions, they push themselves to do the same. Full of a life-long love of learning, classical teachers hope to share their gifts by continually improving their pedagogy, their teaching techniques, and their content knowledge. But they don’t do this for the sake of increasing student test scores. They do this because by modeling their own pursuit of excellence, they provide a real-life example of how we can all persevere to become better at what we do.
Classical teachers invest the time it takes to cultivate a strong moral imagination. Day in and day out, teachers model, reteach, and expect good behavior and study skills, and it is in the consistent, daily practice of the routine that students form the habits of a scholar, and of a just person. Within a disciplined environment, teachers and students learn about and celebrate our unique American history and the freedoms we enjoy – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Our teachers work to instill a love of our country, not a hatred of it, and that inspires students to take ownership of their community, and of their own responsibility to actively participate in their family life, their school life, and their political life. Ultimately, classical teachers are sentinels against the tides of anti-patriotism and despair; the pursuit of the classical trio of goodness, truth, and beauty are not aphorisms – they are actively sought and practiced in tangible ways throughout the course of they day’s lessons.