Welcome Back 2016-2017!

Sallie-Wells-headLetter from Head of School
Welcome Back! It is wonderful to have everyone back on campus. Several weeks prior to school starting I received numerous e-mails from our elementary, middle and even high school aged students stating how excited they were to come back to school. This is such a wonderful sign and reflects greatly on the quality of our program and the learning environments at Clariden. Yesterday I began what I call check-ins. These are one-on-one meetings that I have with the students to gain insight into how school is going for them. What’s working for them, what’s not, what we may need to make our learning environments better and I end with two questions:
1. Is there anything else you’d like to share with me?
2. Is there anything else you need?

Check-ins give me an opportunity to learn from our students about our program. They have great insight. Equally as important is that by taking the time to do check-ins, I’m teaching our students that their voices matter and that their ideas are worth sharing. When I’m able to act on what they share, I’m then teaching them that when they use their voice, their expressed thoughts and ideas can create change. Even if the change is something as simple as putting more blocks in the outdoor building center. When that occurs, the student sees the power of their ideas and that through expression of those ideas an action occurred that benefited not only them but their school community. Now that’s powerful teaching with life-long implications. Teaching students to express and share their thoughts and ideas, to advocate for what they need are necessary life skills and will serve them well as they progress through their academic careers.

“Inside of all of us there is the need and the desire to be heard, to have our innermost thoughts, feelings and desires expressed for others to hear, to see and to understand.” – Vicktor Alexander

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