The Second Instrument of Education: Discipline

Instrument 2: Discipline

As we continue to look at the the three educational instruments we use at Veritas Christi, to train students to become discerning thinkers, eloquent communicators, and virtuous ambassadors of Christ, we’ll discuss the instrument of discipline. When we talk about discipline, we’re talking about practicing the habits of controlling our minds and bodies. Scripture calls this growing in sanctification and bearing the fruits of the Spirit. Bearing this fruit requires us to resist our desires and control our passions. This is not easy at any age. However, developing good habits in our younger years makes it easier to resist temptation, endure hardships, and take responsibility for our actions in our adult lives.

Self-Discipline reduces anxiousness

We live an an anxious world. One of the causes of anxiousness is the feeling of not being in control. We can reduce anxiousness in our students by showing them that when we practice habits of controlling our minds and bodies such as holding our tongue, keeping our hands to ourselves, paying attention to the teacher as she reads, and keeping our shirt tucked in, we actually do have control of many things. This realization reduces anxiousness and our students understand that no matter what comes their way, they are in control of their responses. This is true freedom. Combined with a calm atmosphere in the presence of a consistent teacher, students grow in confidence.

Discipline makes us more like Christ

In recent years, many secular schools, in attempts to produce good behavior in students, have implemented various classroom management strategies such as rewards, penalties and games. They also teach social emotional learning (SEL) to encourage children to express their “authentic self”. We as Christians understand that our “authentic self” is sinful and fallen, and the only cure for human brokenness is being made new in Christ. That is why our discipline is rooted in our relationship with Him. Every habit we practice points us to our Savior. Our aim is for all of us, teachers and students, to become more like him.

Self-governance leads to self-education

The ability to self-govern also leads to the ability to self-educate. Veritas Christi strives to produce students who will continue to pursue learning throughout their adult life. That means that they must take responsibility for their own education now. We give them the tools of learning, and they are responsible to use those tools to educate themselves. Education does not end in high school or college. The habit of self discipline will prepare our students to continue to learn throughout their adult lives.

In our next newsletter, we’ll discuss the third educational instrument available to us: the presentation of living ideas.

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