A Look Back – How are we doing?
Back in September, I laid out a vision for the new school year. You can read that here. We committed to being the experts you expect when it comes to your children, providing you with a mission-driven experience unlike any other.
So how are we doing?
Is your child’s teacher’s hair is on fire?
Remember master teacher, Rafe Esquith, who had his hair catch fire during a science experiment? He was the last one in the class to realize his head was ablaze because he had achieved “classroom nirvana” with his students.
I see our gifted teachers with their “hair on fire” every day: working hand in hand with our students who they see as fellow artists, scientists, mathematicians, and writers.
Is your daughter developing grit!
If your daughter has yet to make a mistake; don’t worry; there is still plenty of time! Did her failures as well as her successes prove to be opportunities for learning and becoming a better person? How can you help her see opportunity even as she experiences great challenges?
- Help her see that it’s important to finish existing projects even as other ideas catch her attention.
- Encourage her to overcome setbacks and see them as delays and not the end of a goal.
- Help her maintain interest and focus on a project for longer periods of time.
- Use the SGS model of projects that extend over weeks and even months to reinforce this notion of prolonged effort and long-term focus.
- Reinforce the idea that hard work ultimately leads to success. Praising how smart she is can backfire if she starts to see intelligence as status she can lose.
- Praise and reinforce careful and diligent work rather than speed.
We told you; We ask students!
We ask them for their perspective, their advice, their wisdom, and their presence and leadership. Remember what middle school students said when asked, “What engages YOU?” For my next blog post, I will be asking SGS girls what engaged them during this first.
Do you see what I see?
I see students who learning together but think independently.
I see learning that is rooted in real world “being there” experiences like this week’s Mock Trial with Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu presiding! But we have only just begun with 5th graders sharing the fruits of their food study, grade 6 taking on the roles of doctor, poet, and artist in one evening, and grade 8 taking off for a simulated space mission and then really taking off for a one week Spanish immersion experience in Mexico.
I see a student-centered culture where the adults entrusted with caring for your daughters really love what they are doing and love engaging with an age group that is full of surprises!