It is hard to believe that we are only five days away from Winter Break. As I greeted smiling faces at drop-off this morning, I marveled at your children’s growth in these last few months. Those pants that used to bunch up at the ankles in September are now grazing the shin, and sleeves that used to reach fingertips are now exposing wrists.
While social and emotional development is not as visibly measured, it is unmistakable to those of us who have the honor to know your children. I see growth through their steady eye contact, hear it in their exuberant “good mornings,” and feel it in the confident high-fives I get each day around campus.
Watching your children grow inspires me to continue my own growth. While mine is (preferably) not measured by clothing I am outgrowing, I do take great pleasure in expanding my understanding of topics that I know will bring a valuable perspective to my life as an educator, parent, and citizen.
Lately, I have been on an Adam Grant binge. Dr. Grant, an organizational psychology professor at the Wharton School of Business, is an expert on how we can channel motivation and meaning to live more generous and creative lives—a perfect perspective to explore as we reflect on 2019 and direct our intentions for the year ahead.
As Winter Break approaches, I look forward to catching up on his podcast WorkLife (he has produced two seasons) and reading his archive of newsletters that curate new ideas about work and psychology.
Initially, I had planned for this week’s blog to highlight my “best of” in books for 2019. I treasure time with a good book, and I do hope to check several off my list during the time away. But rather than put pressure on myself (or you) to commit to an ambitious reading list in advance, I decided to share these introductions to Dr. Grant and his work, which have helped center and inspire me this holiday season:
If you have 15 minutes to spare…
- View Dr. Grant’s TED Talks on the surprising habits of original thinkers
- Read Dr. Grant’s article on teaching kids kindness as preparation for life in the current issue of The Atlantic (20 minutes): “Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids and Start Raising Kind Ones”
- Assess your reciprocity style to discover whether you are a “giver” or a “taker”: Take the Quiz
- Read with a special someone. I recommend Dr. Grant’s children’s book (co-authored with his wife Allison Grant) focusing on generosity, The Gift Inside the Box, about a gift in search of someone to open it.
If you have seven minutes to spare…
- View his TED Talks on Givers and Takers
- Read this Linked In article on Why Girls Get Called Bossy and How to Avoid It
- Read this New York Times article on why we should stop asking kids what they want to be when they grow up
I hope to see many of you this week in the carpool line or on campus so I can pass along in person my very best to you and your loved ones during the holiday season. For those I miss, please know I send you wishes for a Winter Break filled with adventure, warmth, and most importantly, time to connect meaningfully with those who are most important to you.
Head of School