Dana Gage Aug 12, 2022

Socrates: Excuse me, but someone left a large ugly plastic thing in my classroom. I tripped over one of the hanging wires. 

Staff: Socrates, that’s your new smartboard. Tomorrow is a faculty development day so you can learn how to use it. 

Socrates: What am I going to use it for? Separate the talkers? Plato and Xenophon are so chatty. 

Staff: It’s the latest technology that delivers quality instruction to your students. 

Socrates: Am I getting fired? 

Staff: No, Socrates. It doesn’t replace you. It makes your job easier. 

Joshua Gibbs Aug 11, 2022

The number of classical Christian graduates who walk away from the faith in college is so high, one could make a decent plan for remaining faithful to God in college simply by doing the opposite of whatever most Christian seniors say they intend to do. When asked how they intend to remain faithful to God in college, many high school students speak about the importance of having good Christian friends. “When I go to college, I will surround myself with friends who love God and will keep me accountable,” they say, blithely unaware of just how often this plan fails.

William Goodwin Aug 10, 2022

“Nothing in life is free” — unattributed 

Any teacher (or parent) worth their salt will want their students (or children) to be wise. In Christian circles, Solomon is often seen as the paragon and exemplar of wisdom. We have the story of Yahweh coming to Solomon in a dream and asking him what he would like. Solomon asks to be able to discern between good and evil, and so pleased with his answer, Yahweh grants him this—and (let the reader understand) more.

Will Mortimore Aug 4, 2022

Why start an independent Christian School? A meditation on three sources of motivation.   

Like the two poles of a magnet, the dystopian and utopian forces repel and attract with equal strength. In starting an independent Christian school it is possible to be motivated by one or both of these drives. These may serve as a spark that lights the flame, but they cannot function as its fuel. The only entity that can sustain and grow a healthy Christian school is, as I will argue here, Christ Himself.  

The Dystopian Drive 

Joshua Gibbs Aug 3, 2022

How to improve your faculty development program:

Step one: Scrap your faculty development program. No one likes your faculty development program. Work on departmental culture instead.

Step two: Culture emerges around food and drink and singing and dancing. Culture does not emerge around conversation. Judges have conversations with criminals. They do not dance with them. If your faculty does not eat and drink and sing and dance together, you do not have a faculty culture. You have some atheistic forgery of culture.

Joshua Gibbs Aug 1, 2022

Gibbs: Your son recently asked me to write him a letter of recommendation to a big state school.

Parent: Yes, Allister is very excited at his chances of getting in. A strong letter of recommendation from you will really help with that.

Gibbs: Is there a reason you didn’t choose a smaller Christian college?

Parent: Well, his mother and I want the best for him, and he wants to study business. A big state school has far more to offer on that front than a smaller Christian college.

Matthew Carpenter Jul 28, 2022

Most humanities teachers have some degree of romanticism. It’s hard to teach without it. But sometimes the stories and people we teach seem like faint echoes that bear little relevance to us.  

Before proceeding further, I must confess: I am a proud romantic. St. George is my hero, Beowulf is the grandest epic, Susan Pevensie is still alive (do the math), and King Arthur will return one day. 

Daniel Maycock Jul 28, 2022

What does it mean to teach math classically? If you try to find the answer online, you encounter various educators suggesting that answer lies in a particular methodology—essentially some form of Socratic teaching. On the surface, this seems like a decent way to make math instruction “classical”, but, as I’ll explain, it’s inadequate and ignores the history of classical pedagogy. 

Joshua Gibbs Jul 21, 2022

No one really knows which new works of art will last, but if I had to guess, I would wager that Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) and Eugene Vodolazkin’s Laurus (2012) will be in print a hundred years from now and receive “the scholarly treatment.” By this, I mean these books will not only be in print but be studied in universities and written about by historians. These novels are dense, sophisticated, and can sustain tough, close reads and many rival interpretations.

Jessica Meek Jul 20, 2022

When I actually teach this, I feel like a success. The problem is that society does everything in its power to distract both educators and students from really learning to read.  

We spend a lot of time in class, reading. That’s it, reading. And if reading were just plot lines or bullet points, we’d be wasting a lot of time, just reading.  

So, what does it mean to read well? What must we do to ensure that we’re not just wasting time reading?