The most important factor for a child’s learning in school is the character and expertise of the teachers. Research has repeatedly shown that more than the teaching pedagogy, more than the integration of technology, more than even class-size, the quality of the teachers makes the biggest difference. What is distinguishing among schools, therefore, is how a school determines the qualities of teaching excellence.
As one of the best private schools in the area, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School teachers dedicate themselves to fulfilling our mission “to educate the whole student, developing as fully as possible the intellectual, spiritual, physical and social capacities of each student.”
While they design lessons to cause growth in each of their students, they also see themselves as role models. They know that they are constantly watched by the students; their behavior, their tone of voice, their attitude teach as much as the lessons themselves. Steeped in a community of Episcopal values and the framework of CHARACTER COUNTS!®, they embody qualities such as trustworthiness, respect, and caring. The students appreciate the moral compass of our teachers to guide them. Educating the “whole student” also compels our teachers to see their students as a member of a family; a supportive partnership with parents is crucial for student growth.
Saint Andrew’s seeks to recruit and retain experts in their fields. In addition to a thorough background check, candidates for teaching openings need to provide detailed lesson plans and demonstrate in a visit to campus they they are able to connect with the students at a specific grade level. A determinant factor in an interview process is the time with a significant number of current teachers. We assess for the candidate’s inclination to collaborate and to share the values of our cherished school culture. We ask one another and in reference checks: Can we envision this candidate as a role model for our students? Once we have brought a new teacher into our community, the early priority for additional training is in our intentional programs for social learning.
At Saint Andrew’s, we cultivate an adult community eager to advance our ongoing commitments to academic excellence, character education, and an inclusive community. By accepting our collective responsibility as role models, we aspire to the highest moral and interpersonal standards. As a result, we see the children in our school grow to become not only impressive scholars, but also confident advocates for themselves and others.