Thoughts from Head of School- Why choose Clariden?

Sallie-Wells-headI was speaking with a colleague of mine the other day and she was asking me about Clariden. She wanted to know what we did that was different from other schools. Why Clariden? I was fortunate enough to not only be able to answer her questions from the perspective of an educator who runs a school but was also able to tell her first hand the difference Clariden made in the lives of my own children.

Why Clariden? For individuals who have not experienced Clariden, I can see why they may ask this question. For those who have fully experienced Clariden, the answer is simple. Clariden cares. This was so profound to me as I experienced Clariden as a parent and as I experience it now as the Head of School. Research shows that children who feel safe, loved, supported, and not judged, are able to learn to their fullest ability.

For me, it’s incredibly important that children are in environments where they are supported, are safe, are not judged, are challenged, and are loved. It’s important to me that they learn without being judged, teased, or made to feel insignificant or not enough. If a child feels anything less than confidence in their ability and who they are, we are not providing a learning environment that will encourage them to learn, to take risks, to use their voice and to learn life skills that will promote and enhance their development and how they view learning. It’s important to be happy as we are then able to learn fully. It’s important to not feel like a cog in the wheel but rather to be the wheel. You’re not a number at Clariden. What you think and feel matters.

There are few schools that can come close to that level of commitment to its students. Clariden cares. We care about you the minute you step foot on our campus and we care about you long after you have moved on to college, a career, or wherever your path takes you.

My children benefited greatly from being members of the Clariden community in ways that are not measureable by a grade on a report card, or by class ranking or by being a member of a sports team. Although they did incredibly well on all of those fronts, what they learned and were able to practice at Clariden (aside from their academics) was how to be who they were innately intended to be. They learned to be responsible, respectful, dedicated, creative, non-judgmental, happy and confident individuals who care.

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” – John Joseph Powell

It’s time to value caring.

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