Waverly Parents on Waverly: Part One of an Occasional Series

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The Waverly School arrived in my life like some sort of granted wish. It’s as if I willed it and its staff into exis­tence from my most pie-in-the-sky hopes for my children’s education.

Once we had chil­dren, I started panick­ing about the state of public educa­tion, and started daydream­ing about some impos­si­ble alter­na­tive. What I saw blur­rily float­ing before me was:

  1. A modest, ener­getic place – not too big or small – where chil­dren run through the door in the morning shriek­ing glee­fully and run out the door in the after­noon even happier.
  2. A place where chil­dren with unusual person­al­i­ties or gifts are treated like a deli­cious bit of variety and are respected for their eccen­tric­ity rather than punished for it.
  3. A place where the unex­tra­or­di­nary student is welcomed and loved and fully embraced just as the flashy ones are.
  4. A place with a sense of humor – mostly about itself.
  5. A place where theo­ries of learn­ing and ideolo­gies of peda­gogy are only in direct service to the pecu­liar­i­ties of each student stand­ing before them.
  6. A place where the parents like each other and socialize together.
  7. A place where kids feel like kids, not some improb­a­ble farm-team Olympians for the univer­si­ties and their admissions offices.
  8. A place where I feel relaxed.
  9. Where I’m not my child’s only advocate.
  10. Where the kids look after the younger ones.
  11. Where the parents not only partic­i­pate but enjoy it.
  12. Where my kids smile a lot.

Waverly has it all. I feel like I’m living in cloud-cuckoo land and any minute someone will wake me up and tell me my kids are throw­ing bottles at passing cars over the fence during recess, and they haven’t been to class in two months.

Thank you, Waverly, for actu­ally exist­ing outside my head.

–Michael Higgins
Kinder­garten and 2nd Grade Parent