Reflections on the Opening of School

I left our 81st Convocation Ceremony last night feeling inspired. Jordan's talk about his educational journey to Dublin and his words to the students about appreciating the daily routine of their education reflected the wisdom of a rising senior who has made the most of both his struggles and great successes in life. Maggie spoke courageously about how she has turned fear on its head by using it as a tool in her life rather than as the paralyzing emotion that it once was. Ms. Bouton shared the story of her own growth at Dublin School from a scared and nervous teacher into an educational leader in the community. Ms. Doenmez spoke about the issues that she is passionate about and reminded us all of the power of an education to change the world.

I spoke to the community in Morning Meeting today challenging them to make Dublin a community where curiosity is cool (or "kewl" in text speak). They are here because they want to be around students who value ideas and teachers who want to listen and build up the voices of their students. I concluded by sharing this powerful letter from an anonymous parent that Ted Sizer printed in his wonderful book Horace's School. I like to read this letter to the faculty every year, but this year I thought I would share it with the students as well.

I want my children to succeed in school, to know they succeeded, and to feel good about that.  I want the school to like my children, to know them, and to appreciate them as I appreciate them, to help them and to believe in them as individuals.  I want the school to be safe and to be fair, for my children and for other children.  I want my children to be content with school, confident, and part of a nice group of friends.  I want the school to ready my children for the future, to give them real options for what follows after graduation.  I want the school to help my children grow up to be happy, prosperous, and decent citizens.  - a parent