Many classical, Christian schools struggle in the area of providing and verifying the on-going training of their faculty. While we all want our teachers and administrators to be growing in their skills and knowledge, it’s often difficult to find the time to plan, much less, execute a training program. In addition, if your school is accredited by the ACCS (Association of Classical Christian Schools), your school must have an approved, in-house, Teacher Certification program in place. Your teachers are to be encouraged to meet those requirements and ideally increase in their certification rating.
As a classical, Christian administrator (and teacher) for 35 years, I understand your quandary very well. LEAF would like to offer some practical help along these lines. Typically, certification programs involve several components:
1. Readings: Selected readings about classical education history and philosophy, as well as articles and/or books on specific academic disciplines.
2. Successful Teaching: This is usually measured by longevity – time in the classroom.
3. Completed Training: Conferences and summer training programs can assist with this requirement, but these don’t provide year-round, easy access for teachers and administrators. It is in this area particularly that LEAF is seeking to help both teachers and administrators. Here is a what we hope to construct:
a. A variety of videos featuring successful teachers demonstrating and discussing practical classroom methods, e.g. Classroom Management, the Seven Laws, Sins of the Classroom (featuring Matt Whitling), tips for each level of the Trivium and a variety of disciplines and more.
b. An online feature whereby teachers could take quizzes to demonstrate their understanding of the video content.
c. The results of those online quizzes would be shared with the applicable school administrator to record in the teacher’s personnel file.
Many classical schools have three levels of certification:
c. Master Teacher
LEAF would like to offer practical help for each level, working with the school’s own certification program.
LEAF also has plans to construct a similar certification program for classical, Christian administrators. There is a crying need for administrators to receive regular, practical training, as we as a clearer view of the classical, Christian philosophy. After all, they are the primary spokesmen for this unique and wonderful approach to Christian education. They should be able to easily articulate it and put it in ‘layman’s’ terms for all the various people that comprise a school’s constituency.