Critical Minds, Compassionate Hearts

A Few Words from Bud

Bud Lichtenstein, Interim Head of School
This message from Bud features his thoughts on outdoor time, Responsive Classroom, and the warmth of his reception from families at the beginning of the school year.
1. I love this time of year in New England. It is simply perfect weather for being outdoors and in nature. I am a big fan of getting kids to spend time outside. Many of today’s children have what has been termed a nature deficit disorder – a lack of connection to nature. I hope in these fall days (filled with soccer, dance and music lessons) that you and your family also go on hikes, kayak, or simply play in the backyard. Your children will be the healthier for it.

2. When I arrived in August, the faculty and administrators had begun a dialogue on ways to have more consistent student behavior across the school. Here a few of the things we are working on:

  1. We are the early stages of implementing ideas from The Responsive Classroom (RC), a research based approach to building strong school and classroom cultures that promotes active student engagement and pro-social behaviors. If you will, RC is an approach that greatly reduces children’s classroom misbehavior by creating positive learning environments. We have started implementing aspects of this work in the lower school and many classrooms are already reporting great results. At parent forums in the lower school this fall, we have been discussing some of the features of this approach. We invite you to explore the Responsive Classroom website to learn more about this great resource. Over the course of the year, you will be hearing more about RC.
  1. At a number of faculty meetings this fall, we are discussing ways that we approach classroom management. Topics include teacher language and both natural and logical consequences. My belief is that children are put on this planet testing limits. Adults are here to set boundaries and help shape children’s behavior in loving but firm ways. Doing this without using guilt or shame is an art that all good teachers work on continually. My sense is that the school is making good progress in holding children accountable.
  1. One reason that misbehavior in school sometimes happens is due to a particular child’s learning challenges. I want you to know that I have been duly impressed at how particularly adept we are at working with a wide range of learners. Our staff understands that often, misbehavior is a form of communication. We will continue to listen carefully.
3. Finally, I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome. It is truly my honor to work for a school that believes children can and should make a difference in their world.

L’Shalom, (Towards Peace)

Bud
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