Ryan's Blog

Lower School Back to School Night Remarks
September 17, 2015

These are the days of miracle and wonder – Paul Simon, The Boy in the Bubble


Aren’t we lucky that we get to bear witness to the wonders of childhood each and every day?


Isn’t it a miracle each day the way our children learn and grow and experience the world?


Aren’t we lucky that we all get to take this journey together, sharing in the highs and lows in a supportive and nurturing community?


I know I feel lucky each and every to be immersed in the days of miracle and wonder with all of your children. It’s a privilege that we, the faculty, don’t lightly. We are honored that you have entrusted us with your little miracles and we can assure you we will shepherd them along the bumpy road of childhood with wisdom, compassion, and expertise.


The Lower School truly is a place of wonder -  master teachers, who know and value each child as individuals and learners, a curriculum built to challenge and support in all disciplines including social/emotional.


Kids here are happy, engaged, have good self-confidence, are building grit and resilience, are creative, thoughtful, intelligent.


Tonight you will find out how we do that. You will see why teaching at Greene Street is both an art and a science. You will see how our teachers balance the traditional, skills-based curriculum with innovative 21st century classrooms.


Research and science are proving what we already know – that the best schools preserve the foundations of learning while giving students the ability to thrive in an ever changing unknown future…


I felt affirmed by discovering the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, a DC based education non-profit. They provide the following framework: Built on a foundation of the 3Rs (reading, writing, arithmetic)  a 21st Century classroom also focuses on Life/Career skills, Tech/information skills and Learning/innovation skills (4 C’s: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity).


At Greene Street Friends School, we are already doing this – Town meeting, life skills, cross divisional summer grants, Costa Rica and so much more. And all of our innovative work is built on the backbone of a time-tested, skills based curriculum.


Let’s continue to stay in partnership- school and home.  Together, let’s keep reading, writing, counting, learning to use 21st Century technology, developing our life skills (both here and at home), and finding opportunities for collaboration and innovation


These really are the days of miracle and wonder. Thank you for spending them with us. Have a great night and a great year.