Teachers' Perspectives

What makes Whitefish Christian Academy exceptional?

Although I am a teacher here, I am also a parent. What I appreciate is the individual attention my child gets thanks to the great student-to-teacher ratio, how my child is learning proper behavior such as respect and discipline in a way we can’t teach at home, and also the love of learning and of challenging oneself to achieve more. I also just love the social interactions my child gets here. I don’t have to worry about what sort of behaviors she might be encountering.

 The academy is all around outstanding community, from the students to the parents to the teachers to the board members to the headmaster. The students are extremely well behaved and receive an elite education.  The teachers look upon the students as though they were family.

We seek to develop character, not just impart knowledge.

The academy has an amazing staff - knowledgeable, dedicated, sincere, caring - and fantastic families who make it easy to work here.

The academy has dedicated teachers, administrators, and staff. Each and every person does their work heartily, as for the Lord, and even though they are not in it for the money, they bring joy into the classroom which permeates everything they do. All the teachers and staff truly care about the students inside and outside of the classroom. They care about the student as a human being, not simply a number, and they celebrate successes with students long after they have graduated their class. 

 

What differentiates the Academy from other schools/curriculum?

We teach our students how to think, not what to think. This enables them to problem solve and navigate through many different types of scenarios. We pull from both Christian and Secular curricula in order to prepare our students for whatever topics they might encounter. 

Teachers are given flexibility, which I really appreciate. It allows the staff here to constantly seek ways to improve what and how they teach in order to better serve their students.

The academy has high standards of excellence and a demanding curriculum. It is a disciplined approach to traditional learning with attention to details and uncompromising expectations. This doesn’t mean that teachers don’t give students individualized attention. On the contrary, smaller class sizes enable teachers and support staff to work with students one-on-one to challenge them or aid them in specific subject areas as necessary. At the academy, there is still an emphasis on handwriting, on doing things well for the sake of doing one’s best, on learning delayed gratification, and on setting and attaining challenging goals. I love the fact that students still learn cursive! The fact that first graders are able to look at a sentence and pick out its parts of speech is amazing! In fourth grade, I’m teaching many of the same grammatical and literary concepts that I taught seventh and eighth graders in public school. 

 

What brings the children and families back to the Academy every year?

The great social setting, the individual attention each student gets, and the opportunity for students to learn and grow in ways that only a small, academically oriented school can provide.

They see the value of the education we provide and the genuine love that the teachers have for the children. They also understand that we are trying to accomplish the mission of creating Christian thinkers and doers who will transform our culture for Christ, and that we stick to that mission. Finally, the parents who are most passionate have seen first-hand what the school produces. They see the behavior of the students, critical thinking and life skills learned, and character exemplified.

The elite education, moral integrity, and family atmosphere.

 

What are the standards of excellence that you won't find anywhere else?

The school is not authoritarian, but we do maintain high expectations for student behavior, while very academically strong as well. I think that, academically, it’s less about “standards of excellence” and more about allowing students great opportunities to push and challenge themselves and find their own personal best.

I most appreciate the moral excellence that is required of the students— inappropriate talk is immediately rebuked, the slightest hint of bullying is immediately corrected, and the students are taught to yearn and hunger for virtue and imitate the self- sacrificing love of Christ on a daily basis.

The most important standards of excellence are that we hold our students accountable. They learn to take responsibility for their actions as they relate both to academics and behavior. We encourage and expect them to strive for excellence every day. This is different for each student. Our teachers put in the effort to get to know the students so they understand what excellence looks like for each individual and can push him/her toward his/her goals.

 

How does the Academy enhance our community?

The academy enhances our community by producing generations of students who are independent thinkers and doers. In a world where kids are being told how to dress, how to eat, what music to listen, to and how to think, the academy strives to provide our students with the life skills and comprehensive knowledge to be able to think about what is Good, Beautiful, and True,  therefore ensuring that they make their own well-thought-out decisions. The academy also supports our community by doing service projects such as Christmas Caroling at Genesis Assisted Living and delivering goodie bags to those in need on Valentine’s Day.

The academy is a rock, an institution that doesn’t compromise morals and educational standards regardless of what surrounding “experts,” organizations, schools, or other institutions claim or do. We shun the ebb and flow of educational fads because we know who we are and where we stand. The academy knows that this “ancient future education,” the education of our forefathers, is a time-proven system that teaches children at the ability-level of their development (grammar, logic, rhetoric), building on their strengths rather than unproven educational fads. The academy stands firm in its classical approach and develops "the whole child."

 

What are the biggest character traits our students take away from attending our school?

Character development is of supreme importance at the academy. Our students are expected to be respectful to peers and adults, follow the biblical principles of problem solving, respectfully and logically debate their thoughts and ideas, be kind to one another, and treat others the way in which they would like to be treated.

Respectful behavior, excellent study habits, intelligence, an appreciation for virtue and disdain of badness, kindness towards others.

They learn how to handle their own successes and failures, and to be humble in victory and defeat. They learn how to celebrate other people’s success and how to show empathy, comforting others when they’re hurting or have failed. They respect authority, each other, and themselves. They take pride in their work and try to use the gifts with which the Spirit has blessed them to the best of their ability while not neglecting other areas that may not be as strong. They are humble, compassionate, and display good citizenship. Their self-control and work ethic far surpasses that of their peers at every grade level. These children acknowledge the privilege they’ve had attending this school and, in later years, voice their appreciation for the sacrifices their parents and teachers made to help them grow into the young adult they’ve become.

 
 

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820 Ashar Ave., Whitefish, MT 59937

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