Dear Turning Point Families,
Positively impacting young people’s lives has defined my sense of purpose for almost 30 years. Each year this purpose presents itself differently. Early in my career, it meant designing curricula and refining my pedagogy to ensure that each student felt welcomed, challenged, and truly seen. Later, as I took on more administrative roles, it meant helping plan and execute larger school initiatives to best serve and support all students through their individual and collective school journeys. As a new Head of School five years ago, it was thrilling to lead Turning Point in developing strategic priorities to move the school forward and continue ensuring the children we serve have the very best opportunities for growth.
This brings us to today and the beginning of another new school year—one that certainly requires us once again to take very seriously our responsibility to keep our community safe. But in other ways, it resembles other years, in that it will present us with new challenges which will be met with the same sense of purpose we have had all along—to positively impact the lives of the children we serve.
There is comfort amid uncertainty when our purpose remains unchanged. We become less “thrown” by the rollercoaster of uncontrollable circumstances when we focus on what drives our values, our joy, and our motivation. I saw this in the actions of our students this morning, as I watched them laugh, play, and connect with each other and with their teachers during Back-to-School Camp. While every child is certainly nuanced and different, overall they want to feel joyful, connected, safe, loving, and loved.
Elementary Division Head Will Segar often reminds me that while adults tend to be future-oriented when we think about children (where will they go to high school? what will they do when they grow up? what kind of people will they be someday?), children are living their lives and fulfilling their purpose right now, and for them, the present time is the singular most important time. I am comforted by the knowledge that as adults who deeply care for them, we can make a powerful impact simply by paying attention to their here-and-now.
I know the relief we all felt earlier in the summer when things felt more “normal” and more predictable, and how disappointing it is to face the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. Many of us got attached to a certain outcome we thought we could project, and now we are forced to reckon with unpredictability again. And, because we are human beings, we are drawn to the idea of certainty—even when our entire lives have proven that the only thing that’s certain is change (we are apparently slow learners!).
So yes, the year ahead will hold many challenges for us all. It might also hold some fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. I know it will also hold joy, connection, protection, and love—particularly for our students who will be surrounded at every turn by adults who are committed to their safety and growth.
Please enjoy these waning days of summer with loved ones and friends. I look forward to continuing to connect with each of you as the year unfolds.
Head of School