Tony M. Jaime
Psalm 1 is my key verse because it addresses two fundamental issues: The problem and the answer. The problem in education is that ungodly, sinful mockers are training children to turn away from God by removing Him from the education process. Indeed, in some cases God is not just removed, but actually reviled and mocked. A genuine excellent education must include the principles of history, science, and of mathematics that are upheld by a God of order and truth. The second issue is the answer. Psalm 1 states that the one who reads and mediates on God’s word day and night will be blessed. Biblical integration in curriculum and from the educator is essential. Remember any philosophy apart from a Biblical perspective is a rival religion. The Bible and our Christian faith are fundamental to all we do and teach.
When Jesus left earth He left us with a church not a school. I believe strongly in the leadership, direction and theology that a church provides a genuine Christian school. Every ministry needs clearly defined doctrine so that there is clarity in the message. A proper Christian education has clear Christian distinctive.
Students need to have a comfort with computers and technology in order to thrive in a blended environment. Education continues to make advances in resources, textbooks and teaching platforms that demand a transition into the technological age. I love the technological flexibility that provides Christian schools the ability to expand their electives and classroom offerings while remaining small and intimate. The new age of high-level academics will be found in the resourcefulness of our student’s ability to learn on their own. Digital safety and community are also important training tools for our students to understand 21st academic integrity and appropriate social behaviors.
There is an increasing demand for individual service and attention throughout our society. Online studies, tutoring and homeschooling have increased the individual attention paid to students along with Individualized Education Plans and Differentiated Learning practices. The Bible clearly expresses that there are different gifts that mark teachers and students. I believe in a combination of group learning along with special attention paid to each child as a uniquely important and gifted person. This also creates unique challenges and learning styles that need to be lovingly addressed. We can serve our families both ways.
Every teacher is tasked with the responsibility of creating a dynamic, fun and rigorous classroom experience. The FISH Philosophy is a process designed to give teachers the freedom to be themselves. God uniquely blessed them with special talents, gifts, and academic disciplines that should create an amazing learning environment. Every teacher will be interviewed, evaluated and coached to maximize their gifts and strengthen their areas of weakness. We want to empower our teachers to be transparent and collaborative so that their classroom is continuously encouraging and challenging our students to love the learning process. One of my key motto’s is Do Better. I wrote a book describing the process of constant improvement through incremental gains. We never settle and we never get stagnant. One of the areas that must be amazing is our chapels. Chapels should be the highlight of the week on every level! Education, and especially Christian education, should not be dull, but should instead be a passionate endeavor to become all that God has created us to be.
As Christian educators we have a high calling of preparing our students for life and spirit. Psalm 1 promises us that if we mediate on God’s word day and night that we will be like trees firmly planted by streams of water which will yield their fruit in season. A genuine Christian school will lay a Biblical foundation for Christian ethics, godly values and even principles of marriage. Those principles will be used in the workforce and ministry as well. Our training extends beyond Christian faith and college preparation. I believe that a great Christian education includes a preparation for vocational work and Christian impact. We want to develop excitement for life-long passions like reading, writing, art, music, technology, and more. A great education encourages and gives students opportunities to engage in hands-on STEM activities, building, multi-media and more. We are always willing to start a new club or program to meet interest level. I believe in the importance of continuously evolving to meet the needs of our students and ever-changing technology and work environment presented to our students after graduation.
The scriptures encourage us to study deeply which begins with a Biblical perspective. In an uber-postmodern, inter-faith, polytheistic culture it is essential that we understand what critical thinking is and is not. There are absolutes and organization to logical thinking that lead us to real conclusions. My goal is to develop rigorous Christian thinkers, defenders of truth who both hold steadfast and are pillars in families, churches, and community ministries. Education must include systematic standards and processes for thinking. Our students will have their faith and ideals challenged, and we need to prepare them for life and ministry.
Athletics, music and drama are great ways to develop a competitive spirit, self-discipline, goal setting, and teamwork while having fun. What a great way to develop Christ-like character through the pressure of performance. Extra-curricular activities are valuable for learning how to deal with success and failure in a Godly way.