No time during the school year highlights this challenge more than the first day of school at a new school or college. I was reminded of this last month as I both dropped my own son off at college, and welcomed parents dropping their children at our school.
balancing the books
Steve Bristol is the Associate Head of School. He joined The Hun School community in 2010, after working as a consultant for Independent Schools for several years. He has been involved with Independent Schools for more than 30 years, as an English teacher, coach, dorm head, and administrator. A boarding school graduate himself, Mr. Bristol attended Westminster School in Simsbury, CT. He holds a B.A. from Hamilton College and a M.S.Ed in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.
In his blog Balancing the Books, he'll share some insight about independent schools and the admission process.
While we all celebrate the changing seasons differently, and have different aspects of them that speak to us individually, late spring for me has always been about graduation season –– graduation speeches in particular. I confess, I have an unusual interest, and enthusiasm for, graduation speeches.
So how does one determine “fit” during a pandemic and choose the right school? Ask that school why they do what they do and offer what they offer, and ask how they ensure that everyone in that community is aligned with, and stays true to those commitments. Independent schools differ in priorities, goals, and purpose. Find the one that aligns with yours.
In finding your way into a new experience or group of people, do those little things that fuel and sustain the group even if they appear unexciting or make you feel “less than”. Those efforts breed humility and earn respect, and those are the foundations for successful relationships and experiences.
After a year in which we as a society have been obsessed with that which is contagious, wouldn’t it be great to go into the year sharing something positive? Wouldn’t it be great if we could create more positive momentum on our campus? If so, I hope it is contagious.
All of our expectations and hopes are tangled up in that simple question when our children climb into the car at the end of the day, and when their response is bland, thoughtless, and unenthusiastic, we can't help but question ourselves.
The teaching and learning does not exist between bells ringing signifying the starting and stopping of the educational experience. Independent School education happens everywhere – in the halls, during lunch, during free periods – it happens continuously across our campuses.
Throughout my life, I have endeavored to explore ideas, actions, institutions to find their core values and mission, and the essays I read spoke to me at that most basic level. Simply, they inspired me, even those from “regular people”. The core of my discovery was that I believed in the idea and power of “Belief”.