In K-1, we have extended our Identity and Expression unit into conversations about the geography of where we live. We read books and drew maps of our rooms and of our K-1 space, and began a project where we drew pictures about the many places we live—starting small and getting bigger. Our first smallest circle was ourselves, then our house, our town, our state, our country, and finally our continent. We have put maps of our state, country, and world up in the classroom for students to explore.
Last week the Irish-American author Colum McCann came to Portland on a mission. He wanted to tell the story of Narrative 4, an organization of authors and artists dedicated to mending our social fabric through cultivating “fearless hope” and “radical empathy” in youth (Colum co-founded Narrative 4 and currently serves as president). He also came to hear the story of Waynflete, because of what he had been told about the school.
Colum held a public talk in Franklin Theater in the evening, in which he read from several of his novels, including his most recent one that is just now heading to publication, and discussed Narrative 4. Narrative 4 had sent an advanced team to train 27 Upper School students as facilitators of their signature activity, the story exchange. In his talk, Colum referred to Waynflete as a “visionary school” for our work promoting dialogue as an essential skill and mindset, which he saw as well aligned with the goals of Narrative 4. Continue reading “A Story Exchange: Colum McCann Meets Waynflete”
Eliza Goodwin ’20 and Tzevi Aho ’19 received Gold and Silver keys respectively at the recent Scholastic Exhibition at the Maine College of Art (part of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards).
Five Waynflete students’ work is currently on display at the Portland Museum of Art during the Youth Art Month Celebration. Waynflete’s student artists are Keane McGrath ’28, Porter Beaule ’25, Keza Ineza ’24, Kate Bramley-Simmons ’22, and Milo Schair-Rigoletti ’19.
The show features work from students from the entire state. The exhibit is located on the lower level of the PMA and runs until March 31.
Pictured above: Keza Ineza and Waynflete art teacher Mimi Olins, with Ineza’s piece “Catching Chicken.”
Last week, the New York Times published an article by David Brooks entitled “Students Learn from the People They Love.” A Waynflete parent shared it with her children’s teachers, with a kind note of acknowledgement. The article quickly went viral among Waynflete’s faculty and staff. Brooks’s piece affirms what so many of us appreciate about Waynflete and what makes the school unique: the relationships. Teachers and students “learning to learn, side by side.”
It has been such a pleasure for me to give tours of the new Lower School this year. Prospective families appreciate the beautiful space as much as we all do! Seeing students and teachers in action in purposefully designed classrooms allows parents who are considering Waynflete to see how their children will spend their time: exploring, playing, questioning, connecting, thinking, and learning in relationship with the materials, the space, the teachers, and one another.
But the magic of Waynflete is not about the buildings. The magic is about the relationships.