A few years ago I wrote an article arguing that fidget spinners had no place in the classroom. It was a popular article, but the cost of writing a popular article is a few strongly negative responses. One blogger insisted that my hatred of fidget spinners was an attack on students with learning disabilities because—at the time—it was believed that giving distracting toys to such students would help them pay attention.
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.” Genesis 1:3-4
Classical Christian schools overhaul their writing programs around every three to four years. This means there is a good chance your school is overhauling their writing program this summer. Before you make any new curriculum purchases or draft new writing requirements for teachers to follow, allow me to humbly suggest you talk through the following writing program discussion guide.
On a recent Sunday morning drive, my seven-year-old piped up from the backseat: “Mom, do you think I could get a pet monkey?” Smiling at my fourth child, and now somewhat unphased by these types of questions, I responded: “Why do you want to get a pet monkey?” Ready to fire off his answer, my son responded, “Because I really, really, really love monkeys. I think I might ask God to give me a monkey as a pet.”
I recently delivered this short talk to the elementary school teachers at Veritas School in Richmond.
Zeitgeist was originally published in Blasphemers.
(A sparsely set stage. On stage left, a dresser. In the middle of the stage, a bed. A suitcase on the bed. PHILLIP moves back and forth between the dresser and the suitcase, packing his clothes. MARTHA enters the room from stage right.)
MARTHA: (calmly, soberly) Where will you go?
PHILLIP: East. To the mountains.
Take heart, parents. You are taking part in a local, national, global effort to raise up the next generation. Will it be a caring, thoughtful, virtuous people? We can only hope.
Actually, no—we can do so much more than hope. For you are parents. These squiggling spirits woven into flesh that flare up in zealous passion at times, at times quiver with noisome terseness—these are our future, our future in your hands.
Can a group project be valuable and productive? Of course. Are most group projects valuable and productive? Hardly.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” - John 1:14
When I was a seventh grade English teacher, I had my students read great literature. And yet, the classes’ evaluation of the likes of Shakespeare, Bunyan, Dumas, Tolstoy, and Dickinson was often no more critically incisive than, “They’re boring.” This opinion is exasperating but predictable in immature readers. And yet, for all my frustration with my students, I often find myself reading and assessing literature in exactly the same way.