Courage and Growth

Liz Buchan, Head of Lower School

This year's theme of Growing is quite relevant at this time of year. Spring really has arrived—flowers are peeking through the ground, there are buds on the tree branches, and the last bit of snow has melted.
 
Inside the building, students continue in their Growing—in their skills, in their habits, and in their character. They've researched, computed, organized, devised, collaborated, and applied mastered skills to new ones. They've helped each other, they've rooted for each other and themselves, and every day they "choose kind" in some way: a smile, a compliment, a door held open for another.
 
The building and application of these skills takes academic and social courage. I recently shared with faculty this Edutopia article about courage. In it, the author reflects that in schools, there's an important place for differentiated courage. As he describes it,


"Some people have mountain-climbing courage but no public-speaking courage. Soccer courage is different from musical courage; big-city-at-night courage is different from forest-at-night courage. We all have courage in certain realms and less in others. And we can all work on our courage where we need it."


I see Tower's Lower School children working on their courage all the time; tackling a challenging math problem and asking for help, reciting a poem on stage, speaking in a language other than their native one, grappling with frustrations as they write code, developing a hypothesis and sticking to it, volunteering to read in front of their class, asking to play with a group of classmates on the playground, inviting a quieter friend to play.

Let us not forget how much courage we ask of our children every day, and the incredible ways in which they deliver. As adults, we must also consider, what kind of courage do we need to cultivate in ourselves? For me, it might be rock-climbing courage...or letting-my-children-ride-bikes-on-the-street courage. I'll keep you posted on how it's going, if you'll do the same.

In the meantime, congratulate your child on the courage they show every day. And share with them your own.