This time of year everything is fresh and new--new books, new schedule,
a fresh school planner. A new school year is like a nice, clean whiteboard.
(Don't you just love a clean whiteboard?)
The wheels of each new subject seem to creak along, waiting some
months before truly gaining momentum. I tend to be impatient with
this pace. However, years of educating classically have helped me to
see that the beginning, the slow-building, is so necessary. Too fast and
new material runs off instead of soaking in. Festina lente (make haste
slowly) is a trustworthy maxim.
The Olympic motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius" (Faster, Higher, Stronger) tells
us of a heroic goal, but it cannot be attained without slow training
exercises first. Ah! This is classical. First things first! Whether phonics,
Latin, geography, or do-re-mi. Truth, beauty, and goodness are not cheap;
they are not attained quickly.
When working with our students, our gift to them is our
confidence and assurance that slowly-slowly, precept-upon-precept,
mastery will be achieved. Patient plodding is rewarded by knowledge
that is rooted deeply. Festina lente.