The Ideal Classical Educator

Across the world, classical Christian education is being revived. Many teachers who were not taught under this model are now being asked to employ a classical Christian pedagogy. “How?” they ask. Mrs. Robyn Burlew encourages these teachers, providing a picture of how the ideal classical educator thinks, acts, and loves.

Robyn Burlew

Robyn has served as Head of Upper School at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, for six years, after serving for fifteen years as a teacher and administrator at Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in Biology from Houghton College and a M.Ed. in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction from Covenant College. She enjoys spending time with her three adult daughters and a son-in-law, all of whom live in Richmond. Robyn's leisure time is filled with kayaking, gardening, two golden retrievers, and piano playing. She is a member of Redeemer Anglican Church in Richmond.

Poetic Knowledge: Horse Sense in Our Classrooms

How do we prevent our students from simply learning facts about our subjects? We must foster “poetic knowledge,” the pre-rational and experiential knowledge that equips students to connect information and concepts to the world. Poetic knowledge is necessary for full understanding, appreciation and love for a topic. Application will be aimed at Lower and Middle School grades.

Robyn Burlew

Robyn Burlew has served as Academic Dean and Upper School Principal at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, for four years. Prior to moving to Richmond, she served for 15 years as an administrator and taught biology and math at Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Robyn earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Houghton College and a master’s degree in integrated curriculum and instruction from Covenant College.

Mission-Aligned Planning, Assignments, and Assessment

Mission statements too often grace brochures and walls without informing day-to-day practice in the classroom. Teachers need to consider their school’s mission statements as they plan and execute their classes. When we fail to do so, students perceive that we don’t really mean what is written in our lofty documents. This workshop will focus on practical application of philosophical principles and will be particularly suited for newer teachers.

Robyn Burlew

I am in my third year as Upper School Principal and Academic Dean at Veritas in Richmond, VA. Prior to that, I was at Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, PA, for 15 years, serving in similar ways along with teaching. My rst exposure to the classical and Christian education renewal was while I was homeschooling my daughters in the early 1990s. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a Mathematics minor, from Houghton College and a master’s degree in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction from Covenant College.

A Lesson in Grammar School Literature: Aristotle and Charlotte’s Web

Using Aristotle’s thoughts on friendship and E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web as an example, we will experience an actual lesson in which the great classical thinkers and Biblical principles can be taught at the grammar level and applied to children’s literature. We will further discuss exploring ideas of teaching grammar students to think about literature, and apply it to other disciplines of thought, concluding with the importance of teaching students to find God’s story within the story.

Mary Clifford

Mary Clifford has taught in the Grammar School at the Geneva School of Boerne for seven years and has over fifteen years of teaching experience in various fields, including writing curriculum for an Art History program in the public schools. She was a recipient of Geneva’s Paideia award for outstanding teacher of the year in 2011-12. She has two sons, one of whom graduated from Geneva this year. A native Californian, she and her husband are avid paddle boarders.

Poetic Knowledge: Horse Sense in Our Classrooms

How do we prevent our students from simply learning facts about our subjects? Looking
for ways to cultivate “poetic knowledge” is crucial in helping our students come to fuller understanding and appreciation of a topic. Application will be appropriate for all grade levels.

Robyn Burlew

Robyn Burlew serves as Academic Dean at Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, PA, where she previously taught upper school math and science. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Houghton College and a master’s degree in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction from Covenant College. Robyn enjoys gardening, hiking and spending time with her three grown daughters.

Seminar Weeks

Annual “Seminar Weeks” at Covenant Christian Academy give upper school students the opportunity to learn beyond the typical classroom format and have become a beloved tradition. The faculty chooses a topic, normal class schedules are suspended, and students work in mixed-grade groups for the week. An unofreseen benefit is the camaraderie and team-building that Seminar Week planning and implementation brings to the faculty. The theme for Seminar Week 2012 at CCA was the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and resulted in the entire school community learning more about the issue. This workshop will focus on an overview of what the CCA faculty has done as well as what has been learned for designing meaningful Seminar Weeks.

Robyn Burlew

Robyn Burlew has served as Academic Dean and Upper School Principal at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, for four years. Prior to moving to Richmond, she served for 15 years as an administrator and taught biology and math at Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Robyn earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Houghton College and a master’s degree in integrated curriculum and instruction from Covenant College.