The winter holidays are a wonderful opportunity for centering. Last week, I shared with the community a semester reflection set to photos, showcasing all of the great work we have done together and as individuals this past fall.
There were classroom discoveries, new friendships formed, exciting athletic victories, important parent activities, moving stage performances, artistic creations, and ah-ha moments. It’s powerful for our students and faculty to think about where we started in late August and all of the growth, confidence, and learning we’ve realized in just a few months. Challenge, struggle, and perseverance are all experiences that impact our growth. As such, I also encouraged students to think about their moments of challenge and how they Rise Up to meet them head-on.
These final days before the break are busy. It often isn’t until we are home with our families that we have a moment to consider our individual accomplishments. I encouraged our students to do just that. “Consider all you’ve accomplished this fall, be proud of the journey traveled and take time to revisit your goals and consider what you hope to pursue when we reconvene in January.”
Our time away from campus with families is precious. Gatherings with parents and relatives offer an opportunity to share perspectives and celebrate successes that students might not have time to reflect on during the busy school year. Parents, siblings, and relatives share in asking important questions, inspiring new ideas and new experiences to embrace for the remainder of the year.
The winter break also creates space for us to relax and rejuvenate. Though many students are saddened to separate from their friends and this community, the time and space for reflection and decompressing is essential in their growth and development. It is equally important for our dedicated faculty and staff to unwind and refresh during this welcomed break.
I, too, am eager for this opportunity to spend the holidays with my family. As my family grows older and head in different directions, our time all together is limited. In my years in education, I have found this opportunity for engagement and reflection with friends and relatives so important in rejuvenating our souls, in our work as teachers and for our students.
Wishing you and yours special moments this holiday season.