On this first day, students are simultaneously who they were just a few short months ago, even as they shed last year’s chrysalis to become something utterly unique. They are in the process of becoming—of course, they always are—and the first day of school highlights and punctuates this undertaking.
Welcome to our 2022-2023 school year and all the wonderful possibilities ahead! As a school leader, I believe growth and learning flourish when we put love, belonging, and wholeness at the center. With these compass points firmly in place, we are more prepared to help our children navigate the inevitable ups and downs that accompany their intellectual, social, physical, ethical, and emotional development.
Over the past five years, Turning Point has applied the lenses of equity, inclusion, and antiracism to approach teaching and learning, to guide our relationships with each other and our students, and to ensure that our school policies address systems that underlie inequities. I am thrilled to announce that we have synthesized and codified all this important work into a new webpage and accompanying PDF, Our Commitment to Equity, which I invite you to explore at the link below.
Let kindness in this moment—each moment—guide your actions and orient your mindset. I long for the day we can show goodness to each other in person again. In the meantime, I am comforted to see the many ways we are managing to make profound connections with one another—in our community and with the larger world—despite the distance.
This was not how it was supposed to go... yet here we are. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re already doing it better than we did last week. We don’t know how to stay connected and apart, but we have so many more opportunities and inspirations than we did just a few days ago. We are getting better at talking to our kids. Each day we tolerate feeling uncertain and afraid. We are doing the things we thought we could not do.
Research shows that gratitude fosters resilience during transitions. When I look back at the year and reflect upon the many successes, I feel deep gratitude for everyone in our Turning Point community. I am honored to be among your children, who inspire me to be the best version of myself. I am grateful for all the support of our wonderful parents, who entrust us with your children each day. And I am grateful to work with a talented, dedicated, intelligent, faculty and staff committed to honing their craft and knowing our students deeply—resulting in a transformational educational experience for all.
This year's Summer Community Read is Second Nature: How Parents Can Use Neuroscience to Help Kids Develop Empathy, Creativity, and Self-Control. At Turning Point, we use research-based methodologies to shape our pedagogy and programming, so we are always eager to learn more about how neuroscience can translate into better teaching and parenting, and in this case, “to raise a successful child who can make a positive difference in the world.”
As human beings, we are comforted by the familiar, so it is not unusual that we turn inward or silent when we see hate, especially when it seeps out of the cracks and crevices and becomes almost part of the daily vernacular. But we absolutely must remember that the wonderful diversity in our ecosystem and among people throughout the world is what is responsible for the innovations and evolutionary successes that make our world rich and awe-inspiring.