“Decently and in Order” – Canterbury Leadership Theme
- August 19, 2023
- Steve Macias
I recently led a week of teacher orientation for our 2023-2024 school year at Canterbury School. I presented the following notes as my opening remarks for our teaching staff.
“Let all things be done decently and in order.”
“Decently and in order” is a principle taken from 1 Corinthians xiv:40, which St. Paul encourages maintaining an organized and well-structured environment.
- Daily Schedules and Routine:
At Canterbury we follow a consistent daily schedule that allows for smooth transitions between classes, activities, and breaks. This helps students know what to expect and reduces chaos. We respect schedules, honor deadlines, and shepherd our time with confidence.
We believe: “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.”
- Classroom Organization:
Canterbury teachers ensure that classrooms are organized to support teacher-led instruction and establish a sense of routine and order. Student desks are clean, uncluttered, and learning materials are readily accessible. Before we leave for the day, we make sure to prepare and arrange tomorrow’s materials for different lessons and tidy our classrooms to ensure a clean and orderly environment..
We believe: “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
- Behavior Expectations:
At Canterbury, we establish clear and fair behavior expectations for all students. This includes classroom OBEY rules, consequences (TALLIES), and rewards, helping to maintain a respectful and orderly atmosphere. We maintain order from the moment a student walks into the classroom and expect children to walk in lines, raise their hand, stand to speak, and to speak respectfully.
We believe: “Obedience brings blessings.” & “Obey right away, all the way, and with a good attitude everyday.”
- Seamless Communication:
Canterbury teachers maintain accurate and regular communication with parents, other teachers, and the headmaster. We publish weekly newsletters, respond to emails, and use homework journals, ensuring everyone is informed about school events and classroom activities. We convey a sense of partnership, demonstrating that we value a parent’s involvement and our tone always reflects a positive and supportive attitude. Our goal is to foster an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, and shared responsibility for the student’s well-being and academic success.
We believe: “one cannot not communicate.”
- Curriculum Planning:
Canterbury teachers follow a structured curriculum that aligns with our standards and the school’s instructional calendar. We prepare lesson plans two-weeks in advance, provide copies to the headmaster, and intend to finish all of our grade’s lessons by the end of the year. We maintain a steady pace of learning, leaving ample room for review, testing, and student engagement.
We believe: “If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”
- Student Assignments:
At Canterbury, we clearly outline assignment expectations, due dates, and grading criteria. This helps students understand their responsibilities and allows teachers to provide constructive feedback. Homework is always recorded in journals, all test and quizzes are included in weekly newsletters, and graded work is returned to students promptly.
We believe: “Nine people can’t make a baby in a month.”
- School Events and Chapel Presentations:
At Canterbury, we believe that every school event and chapel presentation is an opportunity to create a meaningful student experience and showcase classical Christian education. Field trips, projects, and other school events align with a grade’s curriculum and Canterbury’s academic calendar. Each class offers quarterly presentations that exhibit material mastered in the classroom. All presentations reflect Canterbury’s quiet, respectful atmosphere and honor its connection to historic Christianity.
We believe: “Not unto us, O Lord, Not unto us, But unto thy name give glory.”
- Respect for Authority:
At Canterbury, we teach students to respect authority figures, such as teachers, pastors, and parents. We foster a culture of order and discipline by teaching students to address adults with titles, using polite language, and making eye contact. Students are also expected to answer adults, offer to help, express appreciation, and ask for permission.
We believe: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.”
- Uniform and Dress Code:
Canterbury teachers help enforce the school’s dress code policy by encouraging a neat and tidy appearance and good personal hygiene. Teachers at Canterbury understand that a well-maintained appearance is more than a superficial concern; it reflects a deeper commitment to self-discipline, responsibility, and the embodiment of the school’s values.
We believe: Clothes make the man.
- Resource Management:
Canterbury teachers properly manage school resources, including finances, facilities, and equipment. We respect shared spaces like bathrooms, teachers’ workroom, school office, and kitchens by cleaning up after ourselves and respecting ownership of equipment and other resources.
We believe: Leave it better than you found it.