Inspired experience based college preparatory education for creative and intellectually curious students
Early childhood through twelfth grade

Juniors Give Thanks

Next week is Thanksgiving and I have a story to share. Every Wednesday the junior class and I gather together for Wellness. Junior Wellness is centered around a discussion of what it is they believe, and some Waverly faculty and staff come in to share their own beliefs in an essay of 500 words or less. Some of the students are still at work thinking on the core belief that is true for them. As a brainstorming exercise, I asked the students to write down a number from one to ten on a sticky note. Then, I asked them to read their number aloud. “Now,” I said, “each of you is invited to come to the front of the room and share the things that you are grateful for, equal to the number you wrote down.” I am happy to report that whether they had number two or number nine, there were no complaints and nearly all of them (we ran out of time) came forward and shared with their classmates a range of things for which they feel grateful. I learned something from what they shared. There is so much worry about adolescents. So much of what we hear about them is negative.  We worry that they aren’t listening to the adults in their lives, are unaware of their privilege, and that they have no perspective. We worry that all they do is spend time on their devices. Below is a varied and overlapping list of some of what Waverly’s largest high school class, the juniors, are grateful for, and not one of them said, “my phone.” — Jennifer Dakan, Admissions Director, Wellness Teacher, Thankful Person

My dog
The outdoors
The mountains
Waverly and all the amazing teachers
My health
School (especially this one)
For having easy access to food and other resources
My home
For having people who inspire me
For being who I want to be
Being able to express myself
For not being born into a family that has a religion
My brother
The possum in my yard
My friends
My family
Private school education
Being able-bodied
Sza’s new album
Freedom of speech
Kindness and forgiveness
The Junior class at Waverly

Previous post:

Next post: