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How to Create a Culture of Excellence at Canterbury Christian School


It would be terribly naive for anyone of any age to think they had no room for improvement. Obviously so? Sadly, the need to grow is not so clear to some. There are those who are inclined to think that what always was is the way things always should be. Solomon wrestles with this thinking somewhat in Ecclesiastes 1.

Old folks are the toughest to influence. Old dogs and new tricks comes to mind. But old folks can learn, too! My dad was baptized after he turned 65. I will enjoy spending eternity with him.

Youngsters are easier to influence. Our prayer is that they can soak up what is good, let drip what is bad, and stand on the shoulders of the giants to learn and build on, not just carry on the past.

Physical Education and a Culture of Excellence

How can PE class contribute to building a culture of excellence at Canterbury Christian?

How can the kids and I standing around the corner, jumping on dots, or running around on the back lawn or in circles around the parking lot build a culture of excellence that will carry over into the classroom, into their daily lives and on into their future?

I think about these things? Am I thinking too big, or too far or too hard?

When I was in high school, we had one of the best wrestling teams in all of Ohio, perhaps in the nation. Our coach, Mr. Shaut, allowed his Christian work ethic and vision to seep into the daily practices and the building up of the team’s reputation and performance.

Mr Shaut spent nearly 10 years to reach the point where his teams were considered excellent. When asked how he did this he told us he didn’t start with the high school team. He started with the middle school teams. By the time the first batch of 6th graders he had trained became 12th graders, they were well on their way to excellence. There is no fast food excellence. Excellence is built over time.

One Class at Canterbury Stands Out in PE

Pause briefly before you read on and try to guess which Canterbury class stands out in PE

It’s the first graders!  By percentage more of our first graders participate in the toe tag challenge than any other class. By contrast – no 6th grader has acquired even one toe.

Does getting toes only appeal to the younger kids? I don’t think so. Our 5th graders are on board and making good progress. The other classes are doing well.

4 Suppositions to Reach Excellence Starting from 1st Grade

Let’s suppose:

  • the faculty and I can instill in these little ones the benefits of exercising on a regular basis.
  • those 1st graders carry on with that attitude when they become 2nd graders.
  • the next batch of 1st graders get excited about exercise as part of their daily lives.
  • we can maintain this positive cycle for six years.

By the time the current batch of 1st graders are 6th graders it will be a matter of course for them to exercise on a daily basis. The future 6th graders will be leaders for the entire school. The whole school will be exercising. And the research supports that good fitness discipline will spill over into the classroom, the home, and their lives. We will have a culture of excellence.

3 Questions the PE Teacher Asks Himself Before Class

  1. Is excellence too much to wish for on my part with just one PE class each week? Maybe.
  2. Am I thinking too hard? Maybe.
  3. Do I want too much for our Canterbury kids? No. I cannot.

I want our kids to love the Lord their God with ALL their strength … ALL their lives.

Remember, please. I love them as if they were my own. Indeed, one of them is my own.

If that means starting with 1st graders and going from there, well, we have to start somewhere.

Canterbury can build a culture of excellence that results in lives excellently lived.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” – Colossians 3:23

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