The overwhelming state of climate change can shut us down in denial or despair, but we must find the courage to educate ourselves and our children about it, take action and inspire our children to take action, and support initiatives that will slow down or reverse the damage to our planet that is occurring with increased speed as each year passes.
Arts bring so much to the learning process. Beyond the appreciation of beauty and opportunities for personal expression, the arts also demonstrate more than one solution to a problem, as well as the value of asking questions and seeing multiple perspectives.
We want our students to use their education and agency to create organizations with purpose, to see relationships as opportunities to contribute and collaborate, and to give away knowledge and expertise freely. We want them to view success not merely as an individual race to the finish line, but as an opportunity to be part of something greater than any one person can achieve alone. We want them to leave the world in better shape than they found it.
Those of us who work in independent schools have chosen this path in part because we appreciate the element of independence—which allows us the opportunity to innovate, to develop best practices which reflect the changing landscape of education and the world around us, and to put our own marks on our teaching.
Using the process of design thinking, our eighth graders built games for the Halloween Carnival that would appeal to students in preschool through Grade 3. Our Middle School students take seriously the task of making their younger counterparts feel very special and valued on this magical day, and their compassion and leadership shone through as they demonstrated the games and encouraged their younger friends to try something new.