March 3, 2023

Greetings Gunston Families,

It was so great to see many of you during conferences this Thursday and Friday. I very much enjoyed the chats with families and students, hearing about what was going well, and hearing what students were proud of at this point in the year. One mom commented she liked the format, she appreciated the conversational nature. She was able to hear some positives, some areas to work on, and even took advantage of being in the building and did a locker clean out!

I loved seeing students present for their families and teachers. In reflecting about the process, it probably is not very often that as families you get to hear your child present to you, unless perhaps they do a presentation about why the family should adopt a pet! I hope you enjoyed the experience and had a chance to see the growth and development of your child. Some families had a chance to see the work their children were turning in and found an opportunity for some focused encouragement for better work products. We’ve seen a spectrum in these two days.

It is important to me that every family at Gunston has an opportunity to have a personalized interaction with a teacher about their child. This format for conferences is a compromise; the conversation is with one of your child’s teachers. I also think about families who may not feel as comfortable navigating schools without their child, this format ensures that there is at least one person in the room with whom the parent will feel comfortable.

Another benefit, from my perspective, is students demonstrating more ownership for their learning. Reflection is a habit and we want to ensure that all students learn it. Plus, most, if not all students, benefit from practicing public speaking!

Middle school is a journey. Some parts of the journey will be like an easy, flat road, other parts more bumpy and challenging. The good news about middle school is that there is more journeying ahead, more time to course correct, if needed, and more time to practice getting better at school while the consequences of not being good at it yet are a tad bit lower. It is the sweet spot. Thank you for your partnership with us. We don’t do this work, we love, in isolation, we partner with you. Again, it was great to see many of you during these last two days. Lastly, if you need to speak with a specific teacher, please feel free to reach out to them directly or to your child’s school counselor. Enjoy the three or the 2 1/2 day weekend. We’ll see your children back at Gunston on Monday!

Dr. Wiggins

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