Trinitas Blog

The Voices in Your Head, Part 2

Posted by Sean Johnson on Jun 8, 2020 8:00:00 AM

(Trinitas faculty member Mr. Sean Johnson addressed these comments to the graduating class of 2020 at Commencement Exercises on May 29, 2020.) 

You have been looking forward to graduation for some time, which means you have fairly well-formed ideas about what graduation is and what it will mean for your life. This is how anticipation works. If something is a complete mystery to us, it is very difficult to look forward to it with any great eagerness. Expectation grows with understanding;  I have been in the classroom with you for the last 36 weeks (most of them, anyway) and I know how fervently you have been looking forward to this day and what you think it signifies.

And that’s my cue.

There is something you may not yet understand about graduation. In this season you have heard a great deal of talk about goodbyes, about “the last” this or that, “the end” of this or that, talk about where you will be next year and advice about what you should remember and do when get there…  — and all this talk (I suspect,) has only served to confirm in your minds the belief that you are being graduated out of something. You are mistaken. While I cannot speak for the secret thoughts of your frustrated teachers on those dark days when you have been eating candy since 8:00 am, I can assure you it is generally true that graduating you out of Trinitas has never been our goal.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, Alumni, True Education

The Voices in Your Head, Part 1

Posted by Sean Johnson on Jun 1, 2020 9:57:34 AM

(Trinitas faculty member Mr. Sean Johnson addressed these comments to the graduating class of 2020 at Commencement Exercises on May 29, 2020.) 

"Good evening to the board of governors, faculty and staff, families of graduates, and to the 2019-2020 graduating class.

I have always wondered just what it would take for someone to ask me to give a commencement speech. I imagined myself much older, with a long career to look back on, several published books to my name, maybe an online cult following of homeschool moms and a few English teachers who would railroad their administrator into inviting me to speak to their graduates….
All it really took, though, was some poor unfortunate soul on the other side of the planet eating a bowl of tainted bat soup and sparking a global pandemic that would force all life and commerce in America to a grinding halt thus preventing the real commencement speaker from traveling to Florida. I feel like I should have seen that one coming…

Having said that, I am superlatively honored to be here, and I want to thank Mr. Gilley and the Board of Governors for the opportunity to address this class.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, School Life, Classical Education, Alumni, True Education

The Old Stories

Posted by Ron Gilley on May 18, 2020 11:50:53 AM

The “Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes is adamant about there being “nothing new under the sun” (Eccl 1:9). Yet, the whole of humanity, or so it seems, only sits up and pays attention at the promise of something new. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly are introduced to new i-phones with some regularity, and every fall without fail new car models are unveiled in Detroit. Fashions are renewed every season, and some of us can hardly wait to see each season’s new look on the runways or in stores. No, I think it is unlikely the wise Preacher doubted the progressive nature of invention; rather, he speaks of something deeper.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education, Christian Living, Secular Education

The Downside of Internet Based Instruction, Part II

Posted by Ron Gilley on Apr 27, 2020 9:58:34 AM

As COVID19 school closures continue, Florida is being held up to the nation as an example of how well internet based instruction can be done. Still, in almost daily briefings I receive about Florida’s schools, administrators and teachers are dealing with problems ranging from poor connectivity to students simply not showing up for online class. To say teachers, parents, and students everywhere are just trying to make the best of a nearly impossible situation would be the epitome of understatement.

Last week I decided to write about the downside of internet based instruction in an attempt to offer some balance to the idea that online school is the next best thing to being there. I am convinced it is not. Still, the internet does offer schools another tool to overcome the new hurdles we are all facing. In full disclosure, even since I posted last week, Trinitas has increased its online instruction for 9th – 12th grades. Most classes are now offering the option of meeting at least once a week online for some face-to-virtual-face time with instructors. Technology offers us a tool, and we are using it sparingly, cautiously. I suggested last week that the carryover from using the internet for entertainment will taint its use as a tool. Three detrimental effects particularly concern me as an administrator and teacher: passivity, shortened attention span, and diminished imagination.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Technology, True Education

The Downside of Internet-Based Instruction

Posted by Ron Gilley on Apr 20, 2020 11:56:20 AM

It became clear in mid-March that most of the nation’s schools would have to close for weeks that could turn into months. There ensued then a mad rush to get electronic devices into the hands of students. The nation’s school districts spent millions of dollars in the effort, and probably billions once the final tallies come in. Hand wringing over lack of internet access for rural and low income students quickly followed. When all was said and done, however, many of the nation’s students were engaged in some kind of internet-based learning by the first week of April.

And for what? One Florida school district set the goal of having students complete “at least one assignment each day.” I am acquainted with a freshman and a junior in another Florida school district who spend fewer than two hours each day on their internet-based school work, and a large portion of that time is squandered waiting for completed assignments to upload. Zoombombing has occurred to the horror of teachers and students. With each passing week attendance wains in many Florida school districts, and some teachers refuse to take attendance. Certainly there is no single reason this internet schooling doesn’t seem to be as successful as many had hoped, but I suggest that it can even be detrimental to the habits of good students.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Technology, True Education, Homeschooling

Season of Wonder

Posted by Ron Gilley on Feb 24, 2020 10:59:12 AM

Two chief goals of classical education are to help students become lifelong learners and to give them the tools they need be successful at learning for the rest of their lives. While a person may catch the bug for learning any time in life, there is no better season for inspiring that love of learning right down into a person’s bones than in the early years before he or she becomes a teenager.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education

Why Rush Education?

Posted by Ron Gilley on May 6, 2019 1:00:24 PM

Closeup portrait serious young man, child, making, showing time out gesture with hands, isolated grey wall background. Negative human emotions, facial expressions, feeling, signs symbol body languageI met a student recently who was about to graduate high school and the first two years of college all in the same day! Not only is that an impressive accomplishment, but also it is an accomplishment that has become increasingly common over the past decade or so. The rise of dual enrollment opportunities that allow high school students to take college courses has made it possible for thousands of American teens to graduate high school with an AA degree from a local college or university. Again, that is a pretty amazing accomplishment!

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Parenting, True Education

The National Report Card

Posted by Ron Gilley on Apr 30, 2018 8:34:04 AM

A parent recently sent me this link to an article by columnist Walter Williams written in response to the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, sometimes referred to as the National Report Card. In it, Williams reveals and then comments on some startling statistics concerning the state of public education in our nation. The parent who sent the article said this is “good motivation to keep doing what we are doing.” I agree wholeheartedly.

Read More

Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education, Secular Education

Get the Trinitas Viewpoint!

Each week we enter what has been called the Great Conversation, writing about issues important to classical education, parenting, and culture from the Trinitas perspective. We invite you to join us as we explore topics as diverse as the smartphone habits of teenagers, kindergarten readiness, and legislation that may affect the future of Christian schools.  

Never miss an update!

Recent Posts