Core Value #3 – Emphasis on Mentors and Classics
Mentors are excellent teachers. A mentor is an individual of high moral character, more advanced than the scholar, who can guide the scholar's learning, and by which with undiminished integrity represents exemplary excellence. Such Mentors historically affected almost without exception the greatest leaders in their formational years. The formula for them was simple yet profound; they read the classics, they discussed them with mentors whose passion for learning was contagious, and they practiced them in real societal conditions. These mentors, more experienced in life, were able to see the great potential within these future leaders and encouraged them to stretch their capacity by demanding quality work. The mentors helped them apply the lessons and principles learned in the classics to real life, thus building the solid foundation that enabled these individuals to become the amazing leaders we read about today.
Teachers at John Adams Academy place the development of their scholars foremost in their work. They are well versed in the subjects they teach and use effective methods of instruction. They know how to balance direct instruction with Socratic discussion; Aristotelian group interaction with individual study; and content knowledge with skill acquisition. They live the core values of John Adams Academy.
Classics allow us intimate insight into the greatest men and women who have ever lived. A classic is a book that has a great theme that teaches principles of enduring importance. It is written in noble language that inspires not only the psyche of the soul but also expands the multiple senses of the mind. It has universality and speaks across the millennia to people of any age. A classic book is a possession for all time. It is never finished saying what it has to say and can be read again and again. In a classic, we discover heroes courageously grappling with societal, historical, political, and moral problems that are timeless for their expression of understanding and universal in their application of relevance. Classics, besides being foundational, are required in a traditional liberal arts education. Indeed, a classic based education produces scholars, who possess the expanding availability of intellect and the practiced skills of a free person empowered with tremendous responsibility of self-government.