Thursday, December 9, 2010

Annual Campaign!

In morning meetings, or even just standing in the passageway as children come in, I often feel a pair of small arms circle my legs, or a small body lean up against mine. I look down, and the person smiles up at me, or just gazes off into the middle distance while we hug. It might be Sophie, Arwyn, Adrian or Emma. It might be Arnav or Nilay. It might be Sydney. Old as she is, sometimes it's Melissa. You just never know.

These children are so special to me, and to all of us here. From the oldest children (who wouldn't be caught dead hugging the head of school any more) to the little brothers and sisters of our students who so often join us for the first few minutes of the day - all these people are individually and uniquely important to us. And the community of families we have is so appreciative and warm this year, it's an amazing feeling of privilege to me to work with you all. The whole atmosphere of the school is one of energy and love.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for being part of our school. Thanks to all of you who have made the first, amazing donations to the annual fund. I appreciate it so much. We need the support of all our families -it's great to know that we are all working together for the benefit of the children.

A couple of points to clarify: Summers-Knoll is a non-profit organization so your donation is 100% tax-deductible. If you want to claim it in your next tax return you need to make your donation before December 31st. (That would be wonderful for us too!) If you want to leave it till the New Year, you can still claim it the following year.

Thank you again to those of you who have already given - and thanks in advance to everyone else who will be participating in this campaign! This is a crucial way to keep the school healthy and moving forward in the best way for our children. I am so grateful to all of you for understanding that and stepping forward so willingly to offer your support.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Benefits of Imperfection

I remember when my first child was born. He was so perfect, so tiny, so vulnerable, and he needed me 100%. Now look at him - an enormous eighteen-year-old with talents, brilliance, geeky charm and a whole range of complications that I certainly never planned for him. There's a huge desire when we are parents to control our children's lives so that they will never have to deal with fear, pain, disappointment, unfairness, or any of the other scratchy problems that this world offers us from day to day.

Unfortunately, that's life. It's part of the human experience. It's not possible to avoid it, and if it were it's surely not desirable. Our capacity for happiness is deepened by our capacity for sorrow. Our empathy for others comes from an understanding of what it means to suffer. Without experience of disappointment, triumph is a shallow thing. Every child has a journey to go on, and as parents and educators we need to be able to celebrate the milestones of these developing minds as they learn to tackle life with all their emotions engaged. Learning to negotiate the rapids now will give them tools and strength to cope with the avalanches and earthquakes that are inevitably going to shake them up later in life.

Click here for a great article, and wonderful food for thought. Enjoy the read!