Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year
In this second week of school, I am delighted to see that students are settling into their routines, beginning to engage with teachers and material in exciting ways, and making new friendships. The relationships that are built in these early days will serve as a foundation for their educational journey this year.
I know that the beginning of any school year is both exciting, and a little scary. For students, questions undoubtedly arise about what school will hold in store, who their friends will be, and what their teachers will be like as the year unfolds. For parents, too, these questions can cause some sleepless nights. We all worry from time to time about our children’s happiness and success in school and in life.
Well, being relatively new to MP&MS myself, I can tell you wholeheartedly what a wonderful place this is. I can honestly tell you that your students will feel known and cared for here, and I hope, inspired and challenged. I know this because I have seen it everyday in every classroom throughout the school. More than any school I have been a part of, there is a shared understanding about the importance of getting to know each student, what matters to them, how they learn best, and how to help them when things get hard.
On the first day of school, I shared my thoughts with your children:
We know that understanding who you are as a person is the most powerful and important way we can help you become the learner we know you can be.
We also believe that learning should be about things that are important and matter to you.
Of course, you have to know how to read and communicate, to solve math problems and understand how the world works. And we will help you grow in these areas, even if it isn’t
your favorite thing…
But we also want you to know that you will learn more deeply and more fully if you are excited about what is happening in your class. So we want you to ask questions, to explore, and to follow your passion and curiosity. Dive deeply into what inspires you.
And we know that learning doesn’t happen the same way for all you. Some of you learn
quickly and some need a bit more time, some of you like to share your ideas in writing,
or in drawing or in debating your teachers and parents. We know that being a fast learner doesn’t make you a better or worse learner than someone who takes a bit more time,
it is simply a different style. Just as some of you can show more about the life cycle
of a butterfly through a drawing, and others can write detailed notes on all the steps.
It is our job to help you understand yourselves as learners, while ensuring that you are mastering the skills you will need when you become adults—or even high school students.
And we know that sometimes, you may make a mistake or you may make a guess, andyou are going to be wrong. And we think that is great. Making mistakes is part of learning, in fact if you don’t make mistakes I don’t believe you are truly pushing yourselves.
We believe in making mistakes.
I hope these words offer some food for thought as we begin this new school year. The incredible MP&MS faculty and staff are here to provide guidance should your child have questions or need support. I hope you know how happy we are that your students are here with us, and I look forward to many wonderful experiences together this year.