Staff

The main characteristic of the school lies in the personal Christian convictions of the core of the staff, in their daily practices, worldview and way of life. At the same time the people working at the school should above of all be suitable for pedagogical work, i.e. be fit to be role models and affect supportively the children's development.

One of our principles is: less words and preaching, more of the right state of mind. Teachers spend a greater part of their energy on inner work with themselves and this helps them to spend the smaller but more visible part of their energy on work with students. Teachers pray for their students and see their work in the school as a way to thank and serve God and fellow people. This gives reason to hope for the divine inspiration, i.e. the working of the Holy Spirit in the major and minor aspects of school life, creating a synergy between the human will and the divine grace.

Everything that we do, we do with the aim of acquiring the Holy Spirit — in other words, to do what corresponds to God's will in our particular situation.

(Children in the Orthodox Church Today, by Sister Magdalen, 1990)

Man is created after God's image and likeness. The teachers' task is to see each child from this perspective, to see the child's likeness to God and his/her divine potential. Every child is talented - the greatest gift is the unique life given to him/her, that he/she has been created from non-being into being. The teacher's task is to see the child in his/her individuality, to support him/her and to believe in him/her.

In human relations there is a similar dynamic as between the persons of the Trinity - the essence is one, but the persons many. What connects them is love and a desire to give oneself for the other.

The teachers do not count on their professional and human abilities only, they work with God's blessing and in His glory.

The teacher does not teach that what he does not believe in. When the words and acts of the role models, the parents and the teachers do not match, then the children lose confidence in themselves and the intuition that is needed for the rest of their lives. The child has a need to trust authority and if it "lies" without being aware of it, then the child learns not to trust his inner world or the Heavenly Kingdom and loses touch with it.

A teachers' meeting, where students progress and the organisation of school life is discussed, takes place weekly. The meeting is a place for discussion and listening to new proposals. Decisions are taken by the governing board of the school as part of their tasks and competences. An Orthodox spiritual guide is counseling the governing board.

When the school grows and there will not be enough Christian teachers, it is likely that teachers will be recruited who are supportive or neutral towards Christianity and have an open mind and heart to the students, love their subject matter and are able to teach it well.

Every class has two class teachers (homeroom teachers). One of them is the main teacher and the other is an auxiliary class teacher, each having their own specific tasks.

All things are achieved through prayer, silence and love. Have you understood the effects of prayer? Love in prayer, love in Christ. That is what is truly beneficial. As long as you love your children with human love — which is often pathological — the more they will be mixed-up, and the more their behaviour will be negative. But when love between you and towards your children is holy and Christian love, then you will have no problem. The sanctity of the parents saves the children. For this to come about, divine grace must act on the souls of the parents. No one can be sanctified on his own. The same divine grace will then illuminate, warm and animate the souls of the children.

(Quoted from Wounded by Love. The Life and the Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios, 2005, p. 203)

It would help people who deal with children to pray every morning: "O Lord God, only Thou knowest this Thy child, his heart, his needs, his future. Help me not to make a mistake in my dealing with him today". By "dealings", we mean all our words, actions, and reactions.

(Children in the Orthodox Church Today, by Sister Magdalen, 1990, p. 16)

The couple should live in the awareness that they are blessed to become no less than co-operators with God in the creation of a new person.

(ibid. p. 8)

The same awareness should be applied to the work of teachers.