Stepping into a classroom at The Oaks Academy often encourages parents, donors, and visitors to rethink what they know about school. Our classrooms embody one of our core values of authentic learning: engaging with a feast of ideas to develop principled, critical thinking. But they are also a place filled with love – love for our students, love for learning, and a renewed love for teaching.
We invite you to take a peek behind the classroom desk and see what teaching at The Oaks is all about from our teachers themselves! Because not only do we provide a wonderful and fulfilling environment for our students, it brings us great pride to know that we do the same for our teachers.
As a former youth pastor, Mr. Wise loves teaching at The Oaks because “it still feels like a ministry.” Teaching Humanities to our Middle School students, he loves that he can be a mentor and support our students and families. “We get to have discussions not just about the elements of history, but some of the ethical and moral dilemmas that shape that history. It feels like still being able to play a role in a spiritual aspect in their lives.” This builds community – and one not just with students and parents, but among the staff as well. “Last year especially, when I had health issues, I felt that the staff was very present; not only in supporting me but also being there for my family with rides, meals and encouragement.”
Mrs. Williams loves teaching at The Oaks because she can be her authentic self. “I’m allowed to be the Christian that I am and everything – I am free to be the person that God created me to be. That’s my #1 reason.” With over 20 years of teaching at The Oaks, she feels that this ability is the greatest gift that she could ever receive. “I don’t have to put part of myself away to teach. What greater joy is there than to be the person God created you to be – freely and unashamedly?”
Mrs. Plemon loves teaching at The Oaks because of our core value ‘relationships come first’. She sees this manifested in the manner in which she relates to her students, families, and colleagues. “As an Oaks teacher, I have the privilege of truly knowing and loving my students, which provides them a safe atmosphere in which to take academic risks, to think outside the box, and to develop and strengthen habits with confidence. I am blessed to work in an environment that is truly collaborative, supportive, and grace-filled. Finally, partnering with parents in their children’s education is a true delight, as we come alongside each other to support and encourage their children, not just as students, but as individuals bearing the image of God.”
The love that our teachers have for teaching here is just one piece of the puzzle that grants us such amazing alumni who look back on their experiences with joy. In this environment where we share a culture of being known and loved, it is no wonder that teachers feel fulfilled and renewed in their role of uplifting the minds of today’s learners and tomorrow’s leaders.
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