Dear New School Community,
Julie Lythcott-Haims is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean. She has written two books - How to Raise an Adult and Real American - with a third on the way - Your Turn: How to Be an Adult. Her first book is about how to avoid the overparenting trap and prepare your child for success, while her second is a memoir on growing up Black and biracial in white spaces. Our DEI Committee is currently viewing one of her presentations on Real American, and our faculty and staff will have an opportunity to view this presentation in the near future. It is captivating to hear her speak, especially when she weaves the themes together.
This week’s Cougar Chronicle touches on both of these themes as ongoing learning experiences for our students. Mary Sweeney, Division Head of ECE, and Jade House, Division Head of K-6, share some of the work that faculty have been doing to create and maintain inclusive classrooms, especially during this holiday season. J.R. Neiswender, Division Head of the Upper School, and Jonny Schremmer, Director of the Arts, both share reflections on the importance of authentic feedback, which is tougher to provide than it sounds. It’s so much easier to applaud and praise the efforts of our children. Their blogs illuminate the upper school version of Mary Sweeney’s previous blog about the difference between praise and encouragement. I encourage all parents, especially upper school parents, to read J.R.’s blog about the value of grades and assessment as feedback for our students. Semester 1 grades and comments will be shared in January and will provide a wonderful opportunity for parents to engage in conversations with their own children about how to learn from their grades and feedback. The New School’s mission to inspire a love of lifelong learning must be grounded in encouragement and authentic feedback, which enables true learning and growth, as we prepare our students to be our future leaders.
Finally, please see Director of Enrollment, Jack Sweeney’s blog on the “Top 10 List” of things at TNS for which he is thankful! I am so grateful to all of you for your continued support and partnership in this TNS community. I wish you all a wonderful, joyous, and restful break.
Head of School