Independent Schools, Teaching to the Heart

Posted by Adam Moore on 10/30/2017

Independent schools have the opportunity to teach more than reading, writing, and arithmetic! While academics are our primary focus, independent schools are constantly seeking to prepare our students to be productive members of society. As adults, we know that being a responsible citizen requires so much more than excellence in academics. A person’s character, work ethic, and the ability to collaborate with people who differ are often the characteristics that are most valued in society and in the workplace. Good schools recognize the importance of teaching core academic subjects but also the importance of creating opportunities for students to develop real world skills.

Unfortunately, all too often, schools are forced to put the spiritual, creative, social, and emotional growth of their students aside to focus on preparing them for a mandated standardized test. If all schools would be given the freedom to teach the entire child, our education system and society would be much better off and students would be better served.

At the most recent Grandparents’ Day program at Woodland, the performances focused on the opportunities our students have to be servant leaders and experience the rewards of community collaboration. The lyrics of the songs and lines recited by our students caused me to reflect on what an awesome privilege independent schools have to teach not just to the test but to the heart.

Here for your reflection are quotes from our students at their 2017 Grandparents’ Day program at Woodland Presbyterian School.

But there is one more thing that we believe matters.

We need to make a difference.

We need to make a difference in our families and churches.

We need to make a difference in our community and in our world.

Choose something you believe in, and go for it!

Don’t be shy!  Speak up when you see injustice!

Be kind to those around you.  Help your friends.

Reach out to those less fortunate and help them!

At Woodland, we want to be leaders.  We want to do the right thing.

We want to be shining lights in our community.

And we want others to follow our lead!

In the past, we sent water filters to earthquake victims in Ecuador.

We collect canned goods for the food pantry.

We “ring the bell” to collect funds for the Salvation Army to do good works.

We partnered with a school in Sierra Leone to share our books and to learn from their culture.

We have sent Christmas Boxes to our military in active service.

A large number of our students and staff participated in and helped with this year’s Forrest Spence 5K to benefit the Forest Spence Fund.

Students in our Recycling Club help collect recycling and learn how to preserve our ecosystem.

Students in our Praise and Worship Club help lead fellow students to have a more meaningful worship experience.

Middle School students study civil rights and racial healing in our “Facing History and Ourselves” class.

During our “House” meetings, we often write encouraging letters or other types of support to members of our community who are suffering.

And most recently Woodland students collected supplies and packed them to be sent to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.  

At Woodland, we are learning to make a difference!

We ARE the future generation, and we know that if we want our world to be a better place, it is up to us.  

WE HAVE to make a difference.  

We know that “Tomorrow Needs US!”