Happy New Year

I hope folks are enjoying the double snow day reentry to the new year in warmth and comfort. What a storm!  

I have always enjoyed the welcoming of a new year. It is a time when we simultaneously look back and ahead, much like the two-faced Roman god, Janus, after whom the month of January is named. Of course, it is also the time when we are inundated with suggestions for resolutions about what to change and how to change it from just about every direction—talking heads, Twitter feeds, magazines, family members, and friends—to say nothing of our own inner dialogue as we turn the page on another calendar year.  

This year, the resolution that seems to be grabbing most folks’ attention is optimism. An admirable goal for 2018, particularly on the heels of a year that, for many, was governed by destabilization and concern. So, I began to give optimism a good deal of thought and consideration for my own resolution. Here’s where I landed: optimism is built on the critical element of trust. To my mind, trust is what was shaken in 2017; considering this serves as a welcome call to remind ourselves of what we do that creates stability and fosters trust and optimism for our students.

Through the BDS lens, the resolution of trust requires excellent faculty who understand, respect, and care deeply for their students. We are fortunate to have just such a faculty, imbued with the same core values we seek to instill in our students. This is a group of teachers that inspires the trust necessary for our children to be 2018 optimists. With this faculty supporting our students, what’s not to be optimistic about?  

Similarly, the resolution of trust requires a forward-looking curriculum, rooted in the so-called 21st century skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, strong communication, flexibility, and adaptability. Our students can trust that their skill development in a reading classroom or science lab will translate to the ability to process all that the world throws at them and will allow them to filter fact from fiction to find the optimistic thread that undoubtedly exists through it all.

Finally, the resolution of trust relies heavily on the covenant between school and home. Belmont Day has long prided itself on the power of that relationship, and much of that power is derived from trust. Parents have been a part of our school’s DNA since its founding, and together with the school, parents have shared in our optimism for what our children can be as citizens, scholars, and world changers.

For anyone who knows me, they know that trust and optimism are fundamental parts of my personality and that setting them as a resolution is akin to placing a bet on tomorrow’s sunrise.  Fair enough. But in a world where the ground may not feel as steady beneath our students’ feet, it is an important one for us all, and one that I look forward to keeping in 2018.

I hope you have all enjoyed the extra long weekend with the snow and that everyone digs out safely. See you Monday.

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