Image 1

We Shall Overcome

What I love most about my role here at Waverly is having the oppor­tu­nity to teach on all three campuses. Morn­ings with thought­ful ninth graders give way to after­noons with inquis­i­tive elemen­tary school students, and on Fridays after spend­ing time with middle school students I have the chance to partic­i­pate in All School Meeting. (And watch my daugh­ter and her Pre‑K class­mates taking it all in!)

Right before last week’s All School Meeting, deeply trou­bled by the polit­i­cal news of the previ­ous day, I care­fully read the iden­tity projects that the middle school students had created for Lisa’s English class. I smiled to myself as I read the myriad ways that our middle school students self-iden­tify, though one word contin­ued to catch my eye on multi­ple projects and resonate with me in a partic­u­larly heart­en­ing way. Right there next to disor­ga­nized,” and athlete” and artist.” Femi­nist. Femi­nist. Feminist.

Shortly there­after in the elemen­tary school Commu­nity Room, (also moved by the trou­bling nature of current events) students, faculty, and parents sang We Shall Over­come.” One by one, students began to rise, and soon the whole commu­nity was stand­ing together in song. I watched my tiny daugh­ter looking up to the older students and then rise to her feet, joining arms with the friend stand­ing next to her. Parents were holding back tears, students were chan­nel­ing their voices as the music unified the Waverly commu­nity. This moment is impor­tant, it is impact­ful, it affects all of us, our song seemed to say. The feeling that morning was elec­tric, a little bit of magic. Later, in the pick-up line, those of us who had been there could not stop remark­ing on how poignant and visceral it was to see the students, arm in arm, using their voices for change, surrounded by a commu­nity of loving adults. This is Waverly at its essence.

I am lucky. I get to see and hear so much. I see the way our youngest Waverly students learn and grow to be just young people, and how in their middle school years they are proud to iden­tify as someone who seeks social justice and equal­ity for all. I observe our high school students being active, eager partic­i­pants in the forma­tion of a better word, and I know that Waverly is respon­si­ble for this trajec­tory of opti­mism, pride and good will. We are all lucky that our chil­dren share in the monu­men­tal task of making the world a better place, and we are lucky that at Waverly they are empow­ered to exer­cise their right to this task in moments such as these.

–Caitlin Dube
Waverly well­ness teacher, HS history teacher, HS year­book advisor, Waverly parent