A Dress Rehearsal for Life

_SJP8863By Katie Edde, Dean of Students

How do we teach children to learn from failure? As a parent of two Prep students, I know the temptation to rescue my girls from situations that may lead to failure or disappointment. I don’t want them to be hurt. Rather, I want them to grow up to be self-assured, resilient, independent, and hardworking. As dean of students in the Middle School, I want the same for the growing young people in our teachers’ care.

Someone once told me middle school is a dress rehearsal for life, and it’s true. As students mature and change during these pivotal growth years, they experience challenges that prepare them for adulthood. Bad grades happen, friendships aren’t easy, teams come up short, tempers flare, and tears fall. Educators know to look past the mistakes and see the shining light within each child.

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Buddies Coming Together

2177by Evan Kurtz, Head of Middle School

Yesterday the Middle School and Lower School came together for our first BUDEE session of the year. An acronym for Be Understanding, Dedicated, Empathetic, and Engaged, our first gathering proved to be all of the above.

It can be challenging for Middle School students to be understanding of younger students, but I witnessed many of them connecting and communicating with their younger classmates. It was impressive how they were able to speak with the lower schoolers on their level while avoiding “babying” them.

Middle School students showed both dedication and empathy as they worked on the “get to know you” project with their Lower School buddies. Ask a 6th grader about the patience required to work with a kindergartener – that’s dedication! Empathy was on full display as 7th graders took to the floor, or filled small chairs to occupy the same physical space as the 2nd graders. This empathy will grow as buddies discuss issues in future meetings that each of them faces, albeit in their own ways.

These traits will continue as they remain engaged with the BUDEE program each month. I look forward to watching each relationship grow as students form bonds which will make our campus stronger and more together. Each Middle School student will also gain insights into their leadership style and skills from their work with their buddies, skills which will serve them well in many situations to come.