Darlene File is a Reading Interventionist and Literacy Specialist who has taught as a substitute and full-time teacher at Golden View Classical Academy since it opened in September 2015. Her children also attend the school. We spoke with her about her experiences:
Why did you choose to teach at Golden View?
We had been wishing for a school like Golden View for years, and we enrolled our children before the school even opened. I substitute-taught for the first year, and that made me appreciate the curriculum, the staff and the students so much that I knew I wanted to teach there full-time. Thankfully, a Reading Interventionist position opened up, which has been a perfect fit for me.
Have you taught anywhere else? If so, how does it compare to Golden View?
I taught English and E.S.L. for seven years at a middle school in Southern California, I home-educated my children for over ten years, and taught for a year at HOPE Academy. I’ve never had the support that I have at Golden View. Parents, teachers and administration are united in a common goal. Instead of being drained at the end of each day, I am energized from being in an orderly environment characterized by the love of learning and respect for others.
What has been your favorite moment at Golden View?
I have many favorite moments, but the Character Award ceremonies and Veterans Day concerts never fail to make me cry.
How are you treated at Golden View? By the administration? By students?
I feel valued and respected by the administration, and by students and parents. At others schools I’ve had the opposite experience, so this is refreshing.
Why do you like the Classical Model?
The Classical Model has been tried and is true. The memorization stage in grammar school leads to thinking critically and drawing conclusions in upper school, with students’ minds being fed all along the way by great works of literature and great moments of history. It makes for great conversation around the dinner table with your teens.
If there wasn’t a Golden View Academy, where would you teach?
If there wasn’t a Golden View, I would teach at Ascent Classical Academy – Douglas County where the curriculum and educational philosophy are the same.
What do you say to those who are worried about discrimination or bullying at Ascent?
If a person is concerned about their children being bullied or facing discrimination at school, that is another reason to send their children to Ascent. This is what I see on a daily basis: children cheering on an obese student who had the courage to run a race; new students welcomed to a lunch table; students passing the ball to a boy on the autism spectrum. The culture of respect influences everything at the school.
More generally, why do you feel it’s important for kids to have choices in their education?
Children are not like cars on an assembly line, so districts should offer choices to accommodate individual differences. Parents all want the best education for their children, and offering choices based on what they value is a school district’s duty.