One of the joys of working in schools is that we have new beginnings each year. Few professions allow for this. In schools we have a chance to start fresh each September. And while the school culture remains largely the same, new teachers and new students join us to add their perspectives, their ideas, their energy and their enthusiasm.
Today was our first day of full team in-service meetings. We began the day by sharing our mission:
We are a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in our Episcopal heritage, we prepare and inspire students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.
As part of reflecting on the mission, I shared the work of a group of teachers and students who developed a list of “practices” to complement the mission statement. As a school, our ultimate aim is to help students (indeed, everyone in the community) become more curious, more courageous, and more compassionate. Our list of practices guides us as we hope to live into these values.
We start with questions.
We seek truth and beauty.
We venture beyond.
We speak our truths.
We fail forward.
We stand up to be counted.
We are fully present.
We honor our stories.
We give of ourselves.
Thinking together about these practices is a great way to begin the year. I truly believe that as we try to live into these values and follow these practices, we will sustain our wonderful community and continue to help each other develop intellectually and grow as members of our local and global communities.