Your student’s happiness is not our goal. We firmly believe that upon completion of a Trinity education our graduates will be happy, and we genuinely desire for them to experience happiness (our classical approach to education is designed to ignite a love for learning among other things) but their happiness, day-in and day-out, is not our end goal. That may seem an odd thing to say for a private, Christian school that depends upon families selecting us as a partner in the education of their child(ren), but we desire so much more for your child than happiness.

If happiness was the goal, then:

  • we would never be able to challenge students and push them beyond what they think they can accomplish.
  • students would not be able to experience conflict and learn, with our coaching and guidance, how to work through the conflict.
  • students would never learn the value of hard work.
  • students would never be exposed to new curricular areas that may “bore” them initially only to become their favorite subject later.
  • our students would not be prepared and willing to engage in an ever-changing world, both as children and eventually as adults.

A worthier goal than being happy is finding joy. In order to accomplish the goal of finding joy, students may have to suffer consequences for a mistake. Forget your homework? Sure, you can turn it in late (within reason) but there is a penalty. Didn’t study for a test? Re-takes aren’t always available. Students may suffer disappointments as well. You don’t always get to play your favorite game at recess and your team doesn’t always win.  While all of these scenarios may lead to students being unhappy for a short period of time, these are necessary struggles along the road to adulthood.

Our mission is to equip students to live with wisdom, excellence and purpose in the modern world by offering then an education grounded in the Christian faith and the classical tradition. Therefore, we teach them logic, rhetoric, apologetics, and comparative religions.  Our vision is to shape future generations with culture-transforming, Christian worldview thinking. Therefore, we engage high school students in Forum and Dialogue so they are exposed to both sides of an issue and are able to form a well-reasoned position that they own and can defend. We mentor and disciple our students through conflicts and disappointments and challenges in order to point them to the Source of all joy – Jesus Christ. We believe lives firmly rooted in joy are ones prepared to transform tomorrow because the tomorrow of their generation is a post-Christian, joyless one. Tomorrow needs them.

Yes, school should be an enjoyable place for students – one filled with much happiness. A school should also ignite a student’s passion for learning and tune their hearts towards goodness, truth, and beauty. But schools also need to be visionary and see past temporary emotions to focus on the end result which may require a few short-term challenges for students along the way. We encourage parents to join us as we mold and shape adults by letting their child(ren) stumble and fall at times. Butch Jones, the football coach at the University of Tennessee, stated in an interview that recruiting has made him realize there are two types of parents: those that prepare their child for the path and those that prepare the path for their child. Parents, in partnership with the school, can prepare their child for whatever path lies ahead, without bulldozing down every mountain or back-filling every valley. The joy in the journey leads to a beautiful tomorrow, one that will be transformed by students like these.

 

Matthew Breazeale
Lower School Head
Trinity Academy