I Am Inspired.

I Am Inspired.
Liz Buchan, Head of Lower School

One of my priorities this past summer, as Tower’s new Head of Lower School, was to invite Lower School teachers out for coffee. I wanted to get to know our teachers to the fullest extent I could.
First of all, I discovered that Tower teachers love coffee.  And was I caffeinated. But much more than that, I was inspired.  Our teachers are dedicated, smart, funny, interesting human beings.

Here are a few of the things I learned:  At Tower, we are:  Marathon runners, musicians in rock bands, yoga practitioners, ekphrastic poets (I had to look that one up), parents of twins, toddlers, teenagers and adults. We are wedding photographers and volunteers at local farmers’ markets and soup kitchens. And, we are frequent presenters at professional conferences, including this year’s National Association of Independent Schools’ conference, attracting thousands of educators. And much, much more.
So why does it matter that our teachers do interesting things? And why have I been so inspired by this? It’s because, just as it is with students, a teacher’s life on the outside makes its way into the classroom. When we have individuals with these broad life experiences teaching our children, we broaden their educational experience. What a plus for students.

Additionally, I am inspired that our teachers come to work every day sharing my commitment to putting your child first—that is, to be sure your children are safe, known, and needed. These teachers spend their professional lives making choices, in every moment of the day, about how to best serve your children.  Every day, they make what we call Orange Chair Decisions - decisions with each of your children at the center.   

Another priority of mine as Tower’s new Head of Lower School, was to meet every Lower School child on the first day of the year.  On that day, I taught each class to say my last name, Buchan, since the pronunciation is not obvious.
The next day, a first grader gave me a cheerful, “Good morning, Mrs. Buchan!” and I commented on how nicely he greeted me and how good it made me feel that he knew my name.

He replied, matter-of-factly and with great pride, “We know names at Tower School.”

This was incredibly powerful to me.  Here was a child who, from the examples set by the adults around him, already understood the idea of being safe, known, and needed.
We know names at Tower School.  We know your children and we put them at the center of every decision we make.  I am honored to be here, as your Head of Lower School, and I continue to find incredible inspiration in the faculty and children here at Tower.