Updated: May 8, 2018
At the age of 35, I have lived long enough to know I do not want my life dedicated to money. Money is not a purpose, it does not introduce me to invisible strangers who live noble lives, it does not run to my door when I come home and throw its arms around me, and it definitely does not give besitos. I want to change the world; that’s what I want. And even more than that, I want to raise my children to change the world. And even more, I want to help other parents raise their children to change the world.
So then I ask, “How do we do that via education?” Well, I look at education through various lenses. The teacher in me thinks about it practically. The doctor thinks about it theoretically. The dad thinks about it idealistically.
So what does that mean? It probably means I have gone crazy. It also probably means that I am investing all my money and time into a bad business idea. And yet, are these not the essential ingredients to make change- if changing the world was for sane people, then it would happen all of the time.
The teacher, doctor, and dad have consulted together to create a school where whites, blacks, yellows, and reds come together, where wealthy, middle class, and poor come together, where very very different cultures come together- not just children, but whole families. We establish the schools on principles of quality, efficiency, and community- intentionally enrolling all types of people. Then, we start every morning with family literacy time, where parents (of all colors) sit next to each other and read with their children. We will actively learn together, as a community, how to overcome language, cultural, and residential barriers. It will be a school where we (old and young alike) learn to paint with our souls… using every color.
In a phrase, here is our mission: In partnership with parents, Charleston Bilingual Academy creates a loving, innovative, and Christ-centered learning environment that inspires children to become world changers through lingual, cognitive, physical, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual development.
Why do I know it will work? First, I can look other teachers, doctors, and dads in the eyes and tell them I am building my dream school for my own children. Secondly, I know it will work because it is ridiculously backed by research - bilingual education combined with best practices is uniquely powerful! Finally, my hunch goes back to my research at Furman, once you begin to see and taste the beauty of other cultures, you will not want to go back to a homogenous life, nor will you want that for your children. After all, that is the obvious reaction when we get a foretaste of heaven.
As I recount this story, I realize that ultimately this tapestry is being painted by the Great Artist, Jesus. And as we experience his beauty, leading, and love, we look forward to creating a school where kids also experience his beauty and love, and are equipped to then go change the world for Him (and by Him).