By: Peggy French (MEd), Director of Teaching and Learning
Rosslyn Academy places a great deal of emphasis on the Mission Statement. “To inspire and equip each student to develop God given gifts for Christ-like service in the world community…” I have been involved at Rosslyn long enough to have been there when the initial committee developed the Mission Statement. This occurred during one of the accreditation cycles. The goal in developing this statement was to own our expectations and hopes for students moving through the school and then out into the world. Each word was chosen with great thought and discussion. Each concept and idea was advanced with a push towards knowledge and skills and values. Each verb was placed there to bring students to action and practice. Each thoughtful word placement and order was to climax in the Great Commission to the world community.
In this blog, let’s look at the phrase, each student. What is important about each student? Why does Rosslyn value each student? What practices and methods does Rosslyn put in place to bring each student to their best in the pursuit of knowledge, and skills and attitudes and beliefs?
Each student is important to Rosslyn teachers and staff, because each student is important to God. That’s it. Genesis speaks to this when God says, let us make man in our image, male and female. Being made in the image of God means that every person is important, loved and valued. Jesus speaks to this when he describes the two most important scriptural commandments of the gospel, to love God and to love your neighbor. In loving God, we are called to love each student. In loving each student, we show our love for God.
Rosslyn staff and teachers are not perfect in the application of this overriding principle of care and value. Yet, here are some ways that we try to fulfill that calling on our lives and in our work every day.
- Understand the importance of building a relationship with each student, that is more than teacher.
- Strive to meet each student’s individual academic needs through strong classroom engagement and strong practices of assessing students, to determine what they have learned and what they are capable of accomplishing.
- Seek wisdom in placing each student in appropriate classes and courses according to their needs and desires.
- Pursue strategies and teaching practices which help each and every student who struggles find the support they need to be successful.
- Challenge each student to move beyond their comfort zone in language development, assignments, discussion, writing skills, critical thinking and analytical skills at every age level.
- Regularly engage in forms of standardized testing, internal and external, to self-assess how we are doing in our mission to each student.
- Pray for each student as they move forward in their spiritual formation and worldview; that it will be centered in Christ.
This is a high calling. This requires thoughtful preparation. This is not easy. Yet, I can say with confidence that each teacher here at Rosslyn Academy is committed to helping each student feel loved and valued and to take steps on this academic and spiritual journey towards a loving God.