I write today knowing I can’t possibly address the range of feelings our families are experiencing with regard to the election. In addressing the faculty this week, we focused on the importance of connecting to our core values, emphasizing self-care, and committing to conversations with students that will create powerful moments of learning. We believe in helping our students discover their capacity to work for change and have an impact on our world.
Two weeks ago, our fourth grade emcees introduced the election at our Lower School Gathering. They discussed how adults can have a voice in their government by casting their vote, and they challenged the other students in the lower school to let their voices be heard. Here is a clip from our gathering.
“We have a challenge for you. We want all LREI voices to be heard as our next President begins their term, so we are going to ask every lower school student to think deeply about what matters to you when you look out into the world. Learn as much about that issue as you can. Then let your voice be heard. We will collect your letters next week and post them for all of our community to see. After Election Day, we will mail them to the next President of the United States.”
Our students took this challenge and ran with it. Now hanging across our walls are student letters that express more than one hundred lower school voices.
A defining principle of our progressive education is that it is relevant to our students’ lives so that our students can use and develop skills while feeling a sense of purpose. It’s one thing to want to make a change in your world; it’s another to have the tools to do so. I am so proud of our teachers and our students for the work that has taken place over this past month, and I am grateful for the hope this work has instilled.