This page on the spirit of Augustinian education was written for Augnet by a teacher in an Augustinian secondary school.
The first impression that would strike a visitor entering an Augustinian school would be the friendliness among members of the community, and the obvious sense of people being companions to one another.
Each person would feel valued. Each person is unique and is an important part of the tapestry.
The image in Saint Paul of the body having many parts, each relying on the other, is central.
This carries with it the responsibility of each person to use his or her talents, and not to hamper the achievements of others.
There should also be humility. Humility recognises our humanity (both our talents and our weaknesses).
Together, with our talents and our weaknesses, we get through, drawn forward by the love of God. Humility finds expression in a tremendous sense of humour and honesty.
Another impression that should strike a visitor to an Augustinian school is that the dominant ethos is communal, not institutional.
A degree of being institutional is of course necessary, but it serves community.
Augustine loved wisdom. It is a gift from God. An Augustinian school should have an obvious love of learning.
Students and teachers should delight in seeking this treasure together.
Learning does not come without great effort on the part of teachers and students, and with parent encouragement.
(Augustine was a strong advocate of the contemporary concept of "learning throughout life".)
Its religious nature
The religious nature of an Augustinian school should be obvious.
It is reflected in the physical environment and in its day-to-day life. Jesus is its foundation and goal.
Our time in history is brief, but we have to play our part for the common good of those in the school community and in the broader community.
These concerns are approached, however, from an educational perspective; the school should not lose its focus as an educational institution.
In summary, an Augustinian school is communal, friendly, seeking faith, and engaged in the daily issues of life.