Nancy Lang | November 2 | Cougar Chronicle

Dear New School Community,

The perfect storm of COVID-19, civil unrest, and a highly charged election year is upon us. As we navigate the daily ups and downs, I’m reminded of the importance of the adults in our community striving to be the thermostat, not the thermometer. The thermometer gives us information about the current temperature. The thermostat sets the desired temperature of the environment. What temperature do we wish to set for our children? 

In this week’s Cougar Chronicle blogs you will read about some of the ways we are maintaining elements of The New School education, some of the ways we are adapting, and some tools we can all use as we strive to be the thermostat in our children’s lives. Mary Sweeney’s message about the difference between praise and encouragement is not only valuable for parents of young children, but also for parents of middle schoolers. In fact, I’d argue it is relevant for all ages! Jade House shares the focus of this week’s K-6 mock election and some tips from NAIS on healthy approaches to civil discourse and communication. As we just passed one of the first deadlines for early college applications, J.R. Neiswender digs into the balance of preparing for what comes next and focusing on the value of the current moment. Jonny Schremmer sets the stage for what we can expect from this year’s Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day. What our music teachers are all doing to adapt is a testament to the dedication of TNS teachers. Read Jonny’s blog to learn about what our students and teachers are discovering as they adapt to the current challenges! Both Jade House and Jack Sweeney acknowledge that not only are we missing the opportunity to interact organically with parents in the hallways, but that this highlights the critical importance of intentional communication between teachers and parents, school and home. Jack’s blog reminds us of how important small moments can be. We can nurture our community by stringing together these small moments of connection and care.

At no time more than now do we need to be the thermostat and lean into our TNS community!



Nancy Lang

Head of School

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