Article IV: The Headmaster as Head Teacher

Head master means head, or lead teacher.  The origin of the word in Latin is caput magister, meaning the capital, like the capital on a column, teacher.  The Headmaster’s learning audience includes every constituency related to the organization.  He teaches directly, and indirectly, the board, the administrative team, the college of faculty, the student body, the parents, the alumni, the donors, the broader community, and those who will join any one of these constituencies in the future.  He engagingly converses about leading, about all the marvelous subject matter that make up a school curriculum, and about educating in a rapidly changing world.

The Headmaster is head teacher of all Academy constituencies.  The head teacher is at once the chief thought leader, and exponent of the great ideas that give rise to the need for an Academy.  He is a reader, and learner obsessed with the great ideas the Academy advances.  He is a bit of a scholar, and academic leader, a ready writer, and an engaging classroom teacher setting the tone for the college of faculty.  He is a persuasive public speaker, a rhetor, convincing all constituencies to achieve the Academy mission.  And last but not least a head teacher is not a cold academic but also a giver of a measure of pastoral-like care, because an Academy is a formative organization, and in the process of formation any constituent may need care.

Serving as Head Teacher of Coram Deo Academy I enjoyed educating each constituency.  As a classroom teacher, I annually delivered the Headmaster’s Lecture Series to students in grades eight through twelve.  These lectures were delivered to individual class sections contributing relevantly to the curriculum sequence – mostly in history classes.  As a result I related directly with each history teacher and to each student in each grade section.  I worked at knowing the names of 200+ students in a way not possible through an assembly.  Don’t get me wrong I really enjoy assembly speaking, but after five years of teaching a student, even if only a few times per year, I really knew them when they walked up the isle to receive a graduation diploma – how rewarding!  I looked forward to each class session because I agree with the late, Christa McAuliffe who famously proclaimed, “I touch the future. I teach…” before she died in the shuttle explosion.  Headmasters, you touch the future every time you teach any school constituency.