1. “Things don’t have to be perfect for learning to take place.” –Louise Rasmussen, TCA Kindergarten Instructor
At the beginning of the year, I was worried about my sweet little kindergarteners learning cursive. This seemed an enormous tasks for five and six-year-olds. How could I do everything just right as an instructor to help them?
As the year ends, though, I see how repeated practice led students to write in beautiful cursive. I realized the alignment of efforts between school and home brought about learning. Their parents and I weren’t perfect as instructors. But we all learned that diligence and teamwork can grow us immeasurably as students and humans.
2. “Students must memorize information while they’re young.” –Amy Anderson, TCA 3rd Grade Instructor
This year I learned elementary students’ brains really are like sponges. When they are young, we need to take advantage of this unique ability.
In my previous eight years teaching elementary school, no one ever challenged me to have my students memorize. When I first arrived at TCA, I never thought my students could memorize all the poems, facts, and songs in the curriculum this year – but just like that, they were reciting, so proud of all they had in their brains.
3. “Kids love to be challenged.” –Jess Boscarino, TCA 4th Grade Instructor
This year I learned that when we give our students adequate tools and a safe environment, they are willing to try difficult things even if they don’t get them perfect the first time.
Educating classically meant that I had a curriculum that was inherently challenging. Teaching in a Christian environment encouraged us to esteem each other and humbly admit when we needed help. The result was a class of students that wanted to work as a team and enjoyed the excitement that came as we learned together.
4. “Content is a vehicle to teach virtue.” –Sara Breetzke, TCA Head of School
All education is character education. As a teacher and administrator, it would be easy to focus more on my students’ test scores than their virtue. After all, test scores are much more easily measured. However, when test scores are the only measure of success, students can too easily hide behind content.
This year I realized more fully that in a classical, Christian school, the content and activity of TCA’s school day are windows that reveal our need for Jesus. It is as students work with others, submit to academic truth, and wrestle with the learning process that they must honestly deal with their fears, insecurities, pride, sloth, and selfishness. In these moments students can work through these heart idols and grow in virtue.
5. “Grace changes everything.” –Priscilla Braun, TCA Mom and 1st Grade Instructor
I’m a by-the-book person: I always have an idea of how things should be. But this year instead of trying to earn my worth in relationships or the success of our schooling, I experienced freedom to enjoy learning. The reality of God’s grace – his approval of us no matter our imperfection, failure, or stubbornness – completely changed the outlook of my year at home and in the classroom.
I’m learning that all change comes in God’s time as we lovingly call each other to more and offer room for each other to grow. And more than ever, I find that I’m thankful. I don’t have to try to be better as a teacher, mother or student; I’m already better because of Jesus.