It is amazing how powerful and transformational becoming a parent is. I was not raised around little children, and I had no clue what I was going to experience the day my first child was born. It changed my life forever. I remember holding my daughter in my arms and being overwhelmed with many emotions such as an incredible love for her, a desire to protect her and a passionate longing for her to know the Lord. One of my close friends at the time my daughter was born, who was like an uncle to her, said, “You can hardly believe how much a baby draws the love out of you.” The love that my children drew out of me has caused me to become obsessed with a cultural and spiritual awakening. I constantly think about the world we are leaving them as an inheritance. I am convinced that God’s strategy to transform the world is personal. The world is changed as individuals are changed by the love and grace of God. It is not just psychological or emotional transformation – it entails the whole person. This is why I believe education is at the very heart of our hope for the future. We want the very best for our children academically, morally and spiritually, and education is the vehicle through which we hope to give it to them.
I like to believe that it is the powerful impact our children have made on us as parents combined with a radical commitment to Jesus Christ that has united all the families of Fortis Academy. It is exciting to be part of a community that is unified around the things that truly matter the most. It is also very exciting for personally because of all of the wonderful growth that is happening at Fortis. Earlier this year a video was circulated through the faculty and staff that showed an incredible discussion in a fifth-grade class. Imagine my excitement when Karen Reynolds came to my office after a classroom observation this week and told me that what she saw in our fifth-grade class was even better than what we saw in the video. (This is not just happening in fifth-grade either.)
I also had a visit last week because someone had questions about changes in a grade, and they needed understanding behind the reasons for them. It is a pleasure to answer such questions. What we are doing is applying the same principles that teachers should use in the classroom with assessment. Assessments (or classroom observations) are for the purpose of analyzing how we are doing in achieving our goals and they help us to make adjustments to improve the quality of our education. A school that is not changing is likely failing. I believe the same thing is true of our Christian life. We are constantly changing as we grow in faith and are conformed more into the image of Jesus Christ. When we are in the pursuit of excellence, change is a normal part of our growth.