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Head of School Blog - Thinking About School
Look What Our Community Built!
In an earlier letter this summer, I mentioned having worked with a number of our students on improving the path to Tiedemann Field during our last work day. I referenced the experience to make a point about students’ work habits, ethic, etc. and failed at that time to also mention that we did get the job done. I suspect that the students who stuck with it that day think, “I helped do this” as they tramp up and down that path on the way to practice, And I bet it makes them feel good. They may even mention it to their teammates. For most of us, experiencing that feeling every once in awhile -- the “I helped do that and it feels nice” feeling -- is why we keep coming back to work. One of our goals here at Wooster is to have our students experience that enough while they are here to make it a part of their thinking when they leave. We want them to think about lives of purpose, and work that is challenging, but has a meaning and makes them feel good.
So a bunch of Wooster Lower School parents got together this weekend and built some swings. Late last year, we got our students to think about what they were looking for in a playground and help us design it. Over the summer, Todd Fischer, Tom Curley, Kim Gerardi, and Stephanie Bell did the planning. Earlier in the week, our teachers dug the holes for the swings, redesigned the sandbox and moved a whole bunch of sand. On Saturday, we had a hearty, hard-working crew show up to break rocks, move dirt, mix cement, raise the supports, but in the poles, hang the chains and attach the seats. Along the way there was a lot of measuring, cutting, drilling, shoveling and sharing of expert opinions! When it was over, we all felt pretty good. To be clear, a lot of us were also sore, which didn’t feel great, but we felt good on the inside!
Along the way, we also got to know some fellow parents, not at an “event” or meeting, but while working. It also doesn’t hurt to practice some of the skills and dispositions that we preach through our curriculum -- collaboration, leading, following, problem solving, working hard, finishing the job, and having fun -- by putting them into action in our own lives. When we get all of that, AND we build a better swing set, it can’t help but be a success. Most importantly, we got this:
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