So, what do you mean by excellent?

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I believe in the value of educational excellence. I also believe that most other people do as well. The challenge in education is not getting people to value excellence, it is defining what we mean by excellent. For example, a popular term being thrown around with the onslaught of common core is that of “rigor.” I like the term, in general. I like a rigorous climbing route that challenges my climbing skills, I like the rigor of certain types of workouts that make me test my limits. I even like the benefits I get from a rigorous class. However, I don’t always believe in the rigor of piling on homework assignment upon homework assignment believing that this type of rigor equates to educational excellence. As we know with many disciplines, excellence doesn’t simply come from doing more work. It comes from doing more better work—I know this sounds grammatically incorrect, but if you read it with the right emphasis, separating more from better work, I think my apparent grammar error is okay. We all know that working smarter is often better than working longer.

My goal for Calvary is that we would come to define excellence as education that is engaging, rich in content, and beautiful in form. Excellence is not defined by our success on standardized tests, though it will often be reflected by strong performance. Excellence is not defined by what colleges our kids get into, though a good education will open up many doors. Educational excellence is an ideal that cannot be fully achieved, but is reflected in the quality of literature our students read, the cohesive progression of skills they acquire, and the thoughtful engagement with which students approach learning. In many ways, the excellence of education is dependent upon the attitudes of the students and faculty. Give me a curious student and an interested/ing teacher and I will show you excellence in education. Give them content that is rich and engaging, we will witness revival.

Dr. Troy Wathen, Head of School

 

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