Last Friday was “HOPPING” with our 2021 Hop Day! Each year we have the privilege of watching our students grab hold of new opportunities as they pursue their passions. This day was a glimpse into the epiphanies, new friendships, and powerful relationships with teachers that await our students in the coming year. It is a joy to watch our students' eyes light up as we share the new adventures and opportunities that are around the corner.
The views I witnessed on “Hop Day 2021” really make me grateful for the fortune to have my unique vantage point, and to be honest, a little bit envious of our students. What an amazing thing to have so much in front of you and so many personalized opportunities to grow, learn, and define yourself.
Think about our Early Learners (3, 4 and 5 year olds) hopping into a new "home" in the village! What an absolutely glorious time of curiosity and wonder as they marvel at the vast world that surrounds them. Our mission in Early Learning is lived out every day as we nurture and inspire curious, confident, joyful learners. Our students are embracing the very nature of learning as an experiential and joyful quest of discovery.
In the Lower School, students (grades 1-4) are growing from curiosity and wonder into a time that places them as the key agent in learning. Students in this phase are still inquisitive and full of questions but they begin to engage their agency and ownership in their learning. Students develop a sense of self and purpose through these formative years that is the bedrock for the actions they will take in the future. As we guide this transitional period students begin to apply their knowledge and learn through doing. From the Learning Farm to producing the daily announcements, our Lower School students are doers.
In the Middle School (grades 5-8) students begin to fully wrestle with the knowledge and understanding of a broader world. There is extensive research (remember I am a former MS Head) about how important – and different – the middle school student’s brain and the emotional underpinnings. From developing personality traits, grit, curiosity and study habits to making decisions about their passions and interests the range of abilities the adolescent brain can learn is remarkable. It is a time of amazing opportunity for learning new skills as the middle school student’s brain is growing bigger, faster and more complex daily while still sorting through their place in the world. Our Middle School works daily to develop adaptable, confident and empathetic difference makers. From the Outdoor Learning Center to our state of the art STEM Zone, our students are engaged as designers, developers ready to make a difference.
In the Upper School, students "stretch" themselves as they follow their passions and impact the world. This is a vital time for students to add the depth to the broad learning they have received as they seek new ways to apply their knowledge. At All Saints our scholar athletes and scholar artists are challenged to take their learning from the classroom into the world. We believe deeply that the places our students will be in the future depends on the steps they take today towards meaningful growth and service to others. From Copper Roof Media to our nationally ranked debate program, the sky's the limit!
So, as I reflect on the day of looking forward I am thankful for the hope that we see in each child’s eyes. The promise and purpose is evident in the opportunities that our students are experiencing and anticipating everyday.