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.
Waverly wellness teacher, HS history teacher, HS yearbook advisor, Waverly parent