Friday, May 27, 2011

Looking Back...Looking Forward

As we approach the end of the school year, we find ourselves looking both backward and forward. How have our children grown this year? What are our successes? What do we wish we had done differently? What are the next steps we want to take next year? What are our hopes and dreams for our children?

Today, as our staff gathered for inservice, we spent time talking about our successes this year. Many of us were brought to tears as stories were recounted of children who are have taken off in reading or math, who have matured and grown in their social skills or their organizational skills, who have made amazing discoveries… the lightbulb moments that make teaching such a rewarding experience.

As I reflect on this year, and begin thinking about the year to come, both as an educator and as a parent, I find myself remembering that learning and growing is often a painful experience. As a parent, it is difficult to see my child go through hard times. He has coped with disappointments and challenges and frustrations that were hard to walk through with him. It is hard to see him sad or frustrated. But I recognize, if I am honest, that it is those very times that have been the catalyst for his greatest moments of growth. That have made him the incredible young man he is becoming. And the challenges he faces today are the growth opportunities of tomorrow.

As you look back on this year, delight in your child’s accomplishments. Celebrate the incredible leaps your child has made in learning and growing and friendships, and more. But look at the circumstances that led to that growth. Was there pain involved? Was growth sometimes uncomfortable? For your child? For you?

As you prepare to thank your child’s teachers for the year, consider thanking them not only for the happy, fun times. Consider thanking them for the hard times as well. For the times they pushed and prodded and held your child accountable. For the times when you struggled to be on the same page and questioned whether this was the right path. My guess is that those are the times that allowed your child to grow the most.

Growing and learning can be hard. I am grateful that my child been able to grow at Seabury where he is loved and supported and nurtured and challenged – even when it is hard!

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