TSH Observations - 2019 Dec. 13th & 20th
Week Ending Dec. 13th & 20th: From Founder & Principal Mimosa Jones Tunney
“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.” — Maya Angelou
We ended our work on Collaboration in November and ran full tilt into December’s celebration of Family. Nothing could be more indicative of the two than our First Annual Winter Concert followed by our First Annual Gifts Worth Giving event. To start, let’s talk about your children. Some had never wanted to perform on stage before; some had never dressed up; many had always outright refused to wear a button-down or a tie. Others had a multitude of fears - both internal and external - which held them back from fully participating in something.
Above all, children need to feel good about themselves. That’s it. When you feel good about yourself, your natural ability to learn, to discover, to be kind, to share, to explore gets ignited. If you’re having fun, you learn more. If you’re around nice people you learn more. If you’re in a good environment, you indeed learn more. What I’ve seen in under four months, is a transformation of children. There's Easton, who didn’t look me in the eyes when we first met and who now has burst forth as a young gentleman; Ryan leading little Jackson around in their Jig Dance truly embodying how our olders care for our youngers; Luca and William very concerned about the lint on their pants and using tape to take it off so they could look their best for the concert; Gavin never wanting to get dressed up until Thursday - many even laying their clothes out the night before. “Mayor” Miles who has become the most helpful person - second to only Ms. Janice. Sibel - where English is a second language - front and center in the singing group. Bea and Alina will forever be emblazoned in my mind during their Dakota Dance. Sailor - just in Kindergarten - who practiced all week to memorize her lines. And John who recited Italian on stage having only been exposed to it since September. Finally, those little ones in front… they didn’t know all the words and some were very tired by the end of some of the longer songs, but their level of concentration, of being able to focus for that length of time, all so apparent from their time in their environment.
A show designed by children is a fantastic thing. An event produced by a team of Learners who chose a Color Guard, structured a Play Bill, collaborated on a menu, served their families, crafted their set and hung it (on ladders), composed a song, choreographed a Native American dance and even held a contest to choose a cover for their program is an outright gift.
Another part that is also (incredibly) impressive is all of you.
At our First Annual Gifts Worth Giving evening we raised $66,340 in just three hours! Your generosity and the contributions of your friends andfamilywere beyond expectations for a single evening and only furthered our belief that parents working together can alter education.
This huge act of giving was such an amazing feat… with these funds we’ll be able to continue to offset costs of our scholarship participants, expand our library collection, enlarge our farm and coop, bring in our visiting scientists and artists in the new year and if we reach our goal we add to that our Little Blue Bus! Remember I do not take a salary and we operate with almost all of our funds going directly to children's resources and to our Educators. Your passion for getting things done and writing those extra dollars out to TSH is the best of all holiday blessings!
But that’s just the money… andwhile important…more so were a couple of outliers that deserve mentioning. First off, the sheer warmth, excitement and love of the child in the room on Thursday was awe-inspiring. Every parent had a story to share, a hug, a line of support and encouragement and gratitude. New parents (some starting in January) who attended the evening were effortlessly embraced by our current parents. And nearly a dozen of the parents attending hadn’t even enrolled yet! The Committee of Five created a record 75 auction items! And a huge thank you to our Educators and most especially Ms. Allison who worked day and night to bring you this experience. So many of the items at auction were created by them with love and care. For many of you who asked, the band out of Brooklyn are The Bailsman!
Finally, I’d love for you to see what Dad Matthew Silva created for sale that evening. Working for almost a week after he teaches throughout the day, he crafted original TSH Inaugural ornaments in his wood shop. It was the one moment that truly brought me to tears.
Wow, wow, wow. Our bin for Pajama Donations is full to the brim. Thank you so very much for engaging our children in these acts of giving. And thank you Mom Rebecca Rose for bringing this beautiful idea to TSH!
We have many treasured programs here - School Care, Project-Based Learning and Provocation - just to name a few. Another one of our treasures is JAM. JAM allows our entire team to meet on Friday afternoons to maintain clear communication with regard to each child’s progress, our connectivity on the whole with regard to the AEC and to resolve any issues that arise quickly. JAM was originally conceived as a convenience for parents because we close 1/2 day on Fridays and also due to the fact that all the driving we do to get our kiddos to extra-curricular activities is exhausting for both parent and child.
In order to maintain JAM starting for our next session on January 31st, all Learners must be enrolled in JAM in all three sessions. Dismissal on Fridays will remain as 12 noon and 3:30 pm. We have added a few more options for our late January start including a few that are more cost effective (including Basketball/Baseball & Home Economics) and everyone will receive an email from Ms. Meg at the onset of January with further details. Thank you for your support as we try to make this program work more effectively for everyone!
I asked the Leads: What was the most important thing that happened for you from the first half of our first year?
Julie: “This is not like anything I’ve ever experienced before at a school. I feel very supported and it takes away a lot of the worrying. Sharing ideas and coming up with ideas… it’s all owed to the communication.”
Carissa: “Seeing the transformation of the child. The child having safety and security.”
Jade: “The things that children all of a sudden love, like Fiona loving math or Enzie being so happy or Abby stepping up to help a friend in a very real way.”
Janice: “The innovation pieces of being able to be independent and not have to follow page 39 of some book. And having all the grade levels so beautifully meshed together.”
Yoko: “The change in the way they are forming friendships and the development of the class coming together.”
Christine: “There is a lot of competition in regular school, but here when you have a happy marriage, you’re blossoming, not apprehensive and it's that friendly vibe that makes it all work.”
Cassandre: “Public speaking has always been hard for me, but here I’ve had to push myself at Provocation and it’s made me work to be a better person. I feel like I’m growing, learning along with the children.”
Meg: “Coming from another school, what most impresses me is the time we give to other things besides academics and the personal touch each of us is committed to giving our children."
Have a very Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas and a Peaceful, Joyful New Year Celebration! You are all changing the world through your children and I am so proud to know you.
Find Out More: December Parenting Tips & December Family Engagement