I’d like to start with a conversation that I had with one of our alumni parents and ongoing volunteer. Many of you know Howard as part of the dynamic Steve and Howard show. They have subbed in every grade and in many of our classrooms over the years.
Howard stopped by today to share how impressed and special he felt our art education program is. He felt that Andrew’s recent play is an example of excellence at our school. He cited an experience during the dress rehearsal. A student had a misstep during a dance number. She was upset and unable to continue that number. A short time after the actors left the stage, they returned for another routine and that actor was amazing!
It occurred to him, “What will she be like as an adult?” She demonstrated such resilience and strength of character and did it with flourish! Another student told Howard that they had helped her get over the prior incident. The fact that we provide students with the opportunity to raise one another up and support each other is an invaluable skill set that isn’t easily measured by test scores and yet is critical in the rapidly changing world in which we live. The idea that we honor students and adults where they are, presuming positive intent and looking for the best in one another is something that is hard to find in today’s society.
We all make mistakes. (As parents, it seems that we make more than most and many of us are amazed at the ability of our parents to deal with the challenges of child rearing.) We all fall down. And yet at McAuliffe we encourage everyone to lend a hand. We extend the presumption of positive intent to everyone. This is a subtle and powerful thing.
Here we provide children and adults with an opportunity to pursue their passion in a wide range of activities and projects and this experience is incredibly valuable. Can we do better? Absolutely. We all can. Students and adults experience problem solving, conflict resolution, thinking outside the box, speaking one’s mind, critical thinking, interacting with one another in positive and supportive ways so that we all continue to grow and learn combined with engaging academics. We expect the students and adults in our community to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to help each other along the way.
Our students learn to question the world around them in a way that enables them to make sense of it for them. We expect this from them. We are not looking for compliant, rule followers, but curious individuals who look at the world in different ways who are empowered to ask “Why?”. We expect individually and collectively our students will make this planet a better place now and in the future. It’s why we chose this school… this community… and we all, each and every one of us, chose to be here.
As we move into the break, I encourage each of you to take time to reflect on your experience here at McAuliffe. Consider the good, the bad, and why you made the decision to join our community in the first place. What is one thing you might try or do to make our community a better place? Make it a family conversation. Each of us is an integral part of McAuliffe School. No one is more important than the other. Each of us makes this school an amazing place for children and for one another.
Have a wonderful time with family and friends. We’ll see you back on April 18th.
(Here’s the link to the article