The end of the year is almost upon us, and there is excitement in the air as we, as faculty, look forward to completing reports, tackling the books by the nightstand, and lingering over coffee, conversations, and ideas. The children are already chattering about camps, sleeping in, and wriggling out of the routines of classrooms. Thoughts of summer can be joyful ones as we think about the days stretching luxuriously before us with infinite possibilities for fun and relaxation. It is enticing to rush forward into summer and embrace the new. As educators, we also know how important it is to reflect, look steadily at the accomplishments of our students, and to take the time to wonder at how much they have learned and grown since the fall.
Strategically we have achieved a great deal as a school, with a new building, new spaces, new curriculum, and new traditions. It is easy to be wowed by the new and forget the careful planning, deep growth, and intentional transitions that helped us arrive here. These changes didn’t happen over one year but took many years of careful planning, with each step and decision building upon the previous one. Equally so, the growth of a child is the careful work of one teacher after another, one milestone flowing into the next.
As a faculty, we often celebrate the work we do together: receiving, developing, and sending off, knowing that we have contributed to and witnessed the collective work of our colleagues. In a community of respectful educators, we celebrate each child as a culmination of the partnership over many years among our teachers. As a collective, we bring our strengths together to create a program, solve problems, and support students and parents. The changes that we deliver can only happen by building on the work of those that come before us. Successful growth happens with cumulative knowledge, missteps, feedback, reflection, change, and deep and thoughtful conversation. As a school, we have created transitions and traditions for children to prepare for and think about the coming changes. We are proactive with parents as we share what will come and communicate the decisions that have been made. We listen, and we learn.
Each year our students experience opportunities to be creative, imaginative, curious, optimistic, and passionate. They are active listeners, issue-definers, caregivers, mobilizers, organizers, implementers, and problem-solvers. Every teacher has worked to provide a year of growth and prepare each child for the joys, challenges, surprises, and accomplishments of the year to come. On June 3, we will invite the students to visit their next year’s classroom, explore a new space, and ask questions. The new will be coupled with the familiar. The sadness of goodbye will be coupled with the reassurance of knowing that care and attention will continue.
I hope as you share in the Moving Up Assembly, the last days of school, and the goodbyes in the classrooms, you recognize the wonder and beauty in our many-years-long journey. Take a moment to marvel at the community that has come together to build such a strong foundation for growth. Take a breath, snap a photograph, remember the beginning, experience the joy and the sadness of transitions, and celebrate the journey through another year. Our students, with the careful nurture of excellent teachers, grow with extraordinary speed and continue to astonish and delight us at every turn!