WHAT DID I LEARN TODAY? WHAT WILL I LEARN TOMORROW?

WHAT DID I LEARN TODAY? WHAT WILL I LEARN TOMORROW?

In August meetings, Dean of Community & Culture Desmond Beach and Dean of Faculty Jaclyn Zarrella introduced this year's community theme to faculty and staff: "What did you learn today? What will you learn tomorrow?" Summing up Interim Head of School Anne Foley's vision for this year to be one of self-examination, reflection, and improvement, "What did you learn today? What will you learn tomorrow?" will be a constant question staff and students ask themselves this year.
 
After introspection and preparation during August meetings gave way to an exciting start to the school year, there was no better time to start publicly asking those two questions than at the first all-school gathering on Monday.
 
The Welcome Gathering brought staff and students to the Elizabeth Meeting House to do just that: give a warm welcome (and welcome back) to school to our students. Each grade has newcomers this year, and as grade heads introduced each student, enthusiastic whoops of welcome could be heard throughout the Meeting House.
 
Along with rocking out to student band Waiting on Line One, students were able to hear from a few members of the senior class. Emma, Alejandra, Amadou, Lexi, Mara, and Aaliyah each stood at the podium and reflected on the year's theme. They recounted learning to overcome anxiety by embracing failure as an opportunity for growth, trying a new sport where their teammates relied on them to succeed, and visualizing their goals while giving the maximum effort to achieve them. These student leaders reflected on their own process of learning and trying new things (several even stated on stage that they had a fear of public speaking!) and charged their fellow students to set goals, work hard, try new things, stay true to themselves, and be brave. As one student aptly stated, the most unexpected and uncomfortable situations—like reflecting on what we've learned and what we have yet to learn—lead to the biggest rewards. 
 
The Welcome Gathering was a great way to start a year of reflections as we continue to ask ourselves—as a community and as individuals—what we've learned today and what we'll learn tomorrow. It was also an incredible show of student courage, insight, and generosity of heart. Welcome back to school—it's going to be a great year!
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