At Tower Hill, we are deliberate about gathering as a community regularly. At our assemblies in each division, I watch our students engage, speak, give announcements, ask questions and show their respect for their peers, students and other speakers. This week our student government leaders in the Upper School offered remarks and led a collective signing of the Tower Hill Honor Code. In the Middle School, Student Council members talked to their peers about their hopes for the year, and our Lower School teachers and students convened to discuss courage.
In my office, I have a few fun “teacher” items, including Elmer the Elephant, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a magnet game and more. These come in handy for students of all ages and even for my Upper School advisees. I also have a magic wand in case I ever should need one (which is more often than you might imagine!). I took this magic wand to the Lower School assembly and asked our students whether they thought it could bring them and me more courage, if I waved it hard? Try as we did, it did not work! We discussed how courage is something that comes from within; there are no special vitamins we can take to build courage. Rather, it is nurtured by trust and love.
However, at Tower Hill we do have a bit of magic going on — in fact, 98 years worth, embedded deeply into our mission. Our teachers and coaches understand how to create an environment in which courage will indeed grow. We want our students to feel safe, try new things, be willing to fail, try again, work hard and have the courage to grow. For children and adolescents who are changing day-by-day in so many ways, it literally can take courage to grow — physically, emotionally and academically. There is no magic wand, but we are off to a great start and energized by the growth we have seen already in your children!