The Power of Thank You

fish printI was sitting in a meeting in my office one afternoon recently when I heard a knock at my door. I could not see who was there through the top half of the door, which is glass, so I got up and opened the door and looked down. Standing there beaming at me, was an entire Beginners class (4- and 5-year-olds) holding a rolled up piece of construction paper. Continue reading

Public Component of Student Projects

In between interviewing candidates and welcoming several finalists to campus this week, I have had the opportunity to spend time with three separate classes working on long-standing Country School projects: a 5th grade class discussing the validity of school dress codes/uniforms, a 6th grade class preparing for its speeches, and 8th graders practicing telling stories from various cultures around the world. Each of these is a highlight of the year for the grade because it has a public component; it involves performance of some sort and younger students see and look forward to partaking in these activities themselves one day.    Continue reading

Parenting Styles

Helicopter parenting. It is such a common term. What does it mean exactly? As an educator, helicopter parenting – and its newer, even more challenging cousin, snowplow parenting – are problematic. Helicopter parenting, hovering over one’s child and directing the child’s decisions, undermines the child’s path towards independence, which is a salient component of childhood and of our role as educators. Snowplow parenting is a style that pushes all obstacles out of the way of the child, thereby compromising the child’s ability to experience adversity, to learn resilience and also to gain independence. The truths behind helicopter and snowplow parenting are well known and roundly believed by educators.   Continue reading

Candidates Attracted to Country School

Over the course of the last month, I have had some incredible one-on-one conversations with more than 35 of the 200+ candidates for our open administrative positions. The experience, knowledge and mindsets of the candidates for these positions is impressive, and the list of their accomplishments is long. Perhaps the best part of the hiring process is hearing and reflecting on Country School through their eyes. Continue reading