On Gratitude

 

As I look back on the year, I am continually grateful for the opportunity I was given to start ICS. The support and faith of our families, the staff and outside stakeholders has helped us overcome so many challenges.

This is very comforting as the world outside our doors remains unsettling. We live in a world increasingly incapable of agreeing on the simplest of things. I believe this arises, in no small part, from the anemic state of public education. Our failure to build a foundation upon which our children can make sense of the world around them is disheartening.

Of course, ours is not the first society to confront this threat. As in the past, I recall Ebenezer Scrooge’s night journey on Dec 24th, guided by ghosts of the past, present and future. In the present, Scrooge spies two small figures, hidden among the Spirit's feet:

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shriveled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds.

Scrooge asks the Ghost “Whose children are these?”

They are Man's, said the Spirit, looking down upon them. And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."

Our community continues to demonstrate many ways to erase ignorance. Just three examples from the last week:

  • Reading about the Roman empire one of our third graders noticed the map in his book was mis-labeled and called it out. “That’s why close reading is important,” he told Ellen. (We closed December with a full Roman holiday, aided by support from many of our 3rd grade families, for which I am grateful.)
  • A kindergartener, inspired by our 12 Days of Kindness program, made a card for his letter carrier, and also wanted to ‘re-gift’ a scarf from his grandmother. The mail carrier told mom this was the first time she’d received a thank you from a child.
  • A teacher whose grandparents always make a gift to a child in need at this time, donated her check to support our afterschool scholarship program.

Academically and emotionally ICS continues to light candles rather than curse the darkness. And for that I am indebted to Ellen, our teachers, our Trustees, and our families.

May the coming days be joyful and restorative. See you on the 3rd!