Lower School Community

Lower School Community
Lower School Community

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Valuing Our Differences

Welcome to the new school year.  The Lower School faculty has been busy planning for the implementation of new and revised curriculum in math and reading and learning new strategies to meet the needs of each individual child.

The week before school started we were treated to a Ted talk video that discussed the Air Forces’ dilemma with designing cockpits for “average” fighter pilots.  In testing their new planes, it became all too obvious that not one pilot fit within the parameters of an average size.  Some were tall and slim, some short and long waisted, some chucky and short waisted.  I think you get the picture!  When the Air Force discovered the problem, a new paradigm and cockpit design resulted.

This was a perfect metaphor for the work we started about learning new strategies for differentiating our instruction for our students.  St. Annes doesn’t have “average” students any more than the Air Force has average sized pilots.  Our kids learn in very different ways, come from a variety of cultures and experiences, and need challenges and supports in various academic and social arenas.  We are working hard to augment our design as well.

Research tells us that all kids do need teachers and adults around them that care deeply and will go the extra mile to support them.  Our staff has always worked in partnership with parents to make sure that this is modeled and communicated to our kids.

Our theme for this year is Celebrating our Stories.  All of us have a wealth of experiences to share about what is easy for us to learn; what is difficult, who makes friends easily; who struggles, whose family history and culture is fun to share; whose my be more difficult.  We have all experienced a time when it felt uncomfortable being different.  The fact is that when stories are shared, we discover that we are all different.  No one fits in that average seat.  As we learn more ways to differentiate for differences, my hope is that we will learn the best ways to celebrate them.

Please help us with this ongoing mission and thank you for entrusting to us your most precious gift, your children.

Thanks so much,
Dr. T

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