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Juniors Give Thanks

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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
Education
Music
The mountains
Waverly and all the amazing teachers
My health
Art
Love
School (espe­cially this one)
For having easy access to food and other resources
My home
For having people who inspire me
Empathy
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
Software
Friendship
The Junior class at Waverly
Food
Sleep