Septem­ber 15, 2023

A preschool-12 envi­ron­ment offers a unique oppor­tu­nity to work with fami­lies across a studen­t’s entire youth. These are the forma­tive years of life and many students change schools and loca­tions across this time. Simul­ta­ne­ously, students and parents are always looking for peers and mentors to help them through the expe­ri­ence. We all need people to look up to and share notes with. 

This week we restarted our Buddies Program with the aim of build­ing these crit­i­cal connec­tions. Every student got a chance to meet with students from another divi­sion to play games, read books, and swap stories. Aside from just having fun, we bring students together so they can remem­ber what it is like to be younger and inspire them to imagine what it will be like to be older. Teach­ing goes in every direc­tion and teach­ers emerge as facil­i­ta­tors and hosts of these critical collaborations.

Talking with students across divi­sions is an essen­tial compo­nent of lead­er­ship devel­op­ment. We want every student to under­stand how to express them­selves and how to solve prob­lems with their age cohort and people outside of their regular peers. Collab­o­ra­tion requires humil­ity and a recog­ni­tion that we can learn from anyone. Expres­sion requires speak­ing in ways that others can hear and problem solving means finding common ground on which to engage a chal­lenge. When buddies get together they flex muscles and deepen habits learned in their regular class­room without explic­itly being told that’s happening.

On a more funda­men­tal level, buddies provide the chance to just make new friends and build commu­nity across our campus. Seeing teach­ers connect with new groups of kids on a differ­ent edge of our campus and younger students leading high school­ers through rock paper scis­sors is also just fun. That’s a great excuse to be together.

Clarke Weath­er­spoon
Head of School