“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
― Philip Pullman
I am so energized by LEAP Week this morning. Other than a sunburn on my nose, the most obvious sign of our week together is a greater sense of ease and comfort for all of you. As your teachers and advisors, we appreciate the chance to get to know you before we begin classes today.
For many of you, the start of classes is what’s on your mind this morning. It’s probably a combination of excitement and nerves, right? Will I get lost? Will I have or find a friend in each of my classes? Will the teacher like me? Will I know and be able to do the work? Will it be too hard? Will I be challenged in the way(s) I want to be? Will others know me as I really am and want to be seen?
Student Government visited Wayside Food Services yesterday as a kick-off to the all-school food drive. We’ve been organizing this drive for the past 15 years (at least) to benefit the program. This is a photo of our students standing in an empty watermelon box which was full of canned tomatoes just ten minutes before. They sorted all of those items into boxes as a hands-on project during their visit. We’ll be publicizing the drive starting next week!
A few weeks ago, 6-12 History teacher Hannah DeBlois led a civic engagement teach-in for middle school students. The theme of the event was how to get involved in your community and make a difference through individual action and initiative.
As Ed Sheeran’s “Touch and Go” plays from my desktop, my feet tapping to its rhythms, I click on the last essay to review from one of my seventh-grade English students. It’s a weekend morning, and Hurd House is quiet, save for the group of seagulls that has gathered by the building’s entrance, signaled by the call of leftover sandwich crusts and the quiet eddy of our campus.
When asked for my guiding principles about Middle School, I often turn to the writing process—and the way it illustrates how writing and living is a process leading towards greater self-awareness, agency, and voice.
Our entire seventh grade spent advising period on Friday making winter cards for their friends at Head Start, whom they will visit on Tuesday.
Our relationship with the Greater Portland Head Start program has emerged over the past twenty years. Each seventh grade homeroom builds a relationship with students in a Head Start classroom. The students meet, play, and read together each month, starting in November. The seventh grade also organizes a Book Drive and bowl-a-thon to raise funds for literacy materials for the program.