I have always hated the phrase, “those who can’t do, teach.” For one thing, it presents teachers as ones who only do so because the things they teach can only be done by those with some special skill, one they do not possess, and hence they hold the manual on how to do something yet lack the tools to implement them. Secondly, the phrase assumes that the fruits and labors of education are always tangible. A student needs to “learn” these things and then apply those things into something productive. Thus, contemplation, wonder, and thinking are not “real” or “good” endeavors because their telos is not something concrete. True contemplation begets more contemplation, which in turn leads to wisdom, but wisdom is not something that is put neatly into a box. Wisdom necessarily judges all things around it, and it does so not through the application of some formula or manual, but rather by experience.
Good teachers are ones who are wise, ones who know their craft and love their students enough to dedicate their lives to pursuing good things and encouraging their students to pursue good things. Their vocation is one in which doing is teaching. It is not, as some claim, an endless cycle of learning and studying without ever doing. And to be clear, schools are not in the business of teaching for teaching’s sake. A teacher’s job is to form the minds and nurture the hearts of students. Math, science, history, literature, phonics, nature study, art, music, and P.E., all contribute to developing the mind, heart, and will of students. Of course, we want students to go on and do good things, but we also want fully-formed students who are smart, humble, courageous, and loving. Joy is missing in schools today, and it is the job of teachers and parents to re-instill joy to our students. This can only be done by teachers and parents who can do.
In Josef Pieper’s great work, Leisure the Basis of Culture, the decline of civilization is traced to one fundamental flaw, the absence of leisure from our world. Many of us have bought into the belief that being busy equals being productive, and we often raise our children to believe the same thing. Sometimes, children just need to play, and that is okay. How many of us are more productive when we make time every day for leisure? This is time where we put down our phones, avoid technology (e.g., tv, computers, radio, etc.), and just make ourselves present to those around us. How much happier are we when we do things, not because we must, but because they give us fulfillment? Education should be leisurely. One learns a trade, a skill, or a craft to produce something concrete, but one is educated to free oneself from ignorance. Having understanding of truth, we come to know ourselves, and in knowing ourselves, we can truly be a force of good in the world. If we do not know ourselves, we are doomed to a life of labor where our masters dictate our every thought, movement, and action.
Our Academy has hired all our teachers for the 2022-2023 school year. All are professionals who have spent many years as students and as teachers, getting to know themselves and their crafts. We have teachers who studied history, math, child psychology, music, art, science, astronomy, literature, and languages. We have two with doctoral degrees, many with master’s degrees, and all with life experience beyond the classroom. If you were to ask them what gives them fulfillment, you might hear them say the outdoors, cooking, family, baking, doing puzzles, or having conversations about God. All of them think deeply about things, can tell you why math is important and beautiful, and why beauty is more fundamental and necessary for our happiness than the latest gadget. Each one understands that leisure makes us whole, helps us to accomplish our tasks, and supports us when we struggle. For them, nothing is more rewarding than leading students to discover the world’s great mysteries, inviting students into a conversation which will guide them from the halls of our Academy to their lives beyond school, ultimately leading them to the greatest teacher of all, Christ our Lord, who was the exemplar par excellence of He who taught precisely what He did!
Please welcome to our Academy our beloved teachers:
- Matushka Masha Solak – 1st and 2nd Grade Teacher
- Mr. Gabriel Quinodoz – 3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
- Ms. Christine Wood – Grammar school aide and Registrar
- Mr. Andrew Gillespie – Grammar school aide and P.E.
In Middle and Upper school, please welcome:
- Mr. Daniel Geoffrey – History and Literature
- Dr. Joshua Moritz – Science
- Dr. Stathis Leondopulos – Math
- Mrs. Mariana Kurtz – Music and Theater
- Mrs. Dimitra Salavasili – Greek
- Ms. Ada Germany – Art
You can read a little about each of them by visiting our faculty page. If ever there was a “dream team” of teachers, I believe this is it. Please pray for our Academy, our families, and our students.
Glory to God for all things.