I am looking forward to Parent Night tonight. This will be my first event like this here, and I like that parents will travel the building according to their children’s schedule. While you are visiting, I hope you take an opportunity to view Crossroads, the teachers, and the learning through a young person’s eyes. When I encourage grown-ups to do this, I always think of this quote from The Little Prince:
“Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, ‘What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?’ Instead, they demand: ‘How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”
It will be easy to think like an adult, a parent, like someone who is concerned with the future, like someone who is trying to get a sense of our space and the people in it in a very short time. It’s easy to default to pragmatic questions, to the “figures” or the nuts-and-bolts-like information. This can create a sense of urgency or anxiety, I think.
Instead, I hope you approach this event, or at least make time in the midst of it, to wonder. Our multi-faceted and endlessly fascinating students are served by a group of teachers who are talented with many interests. What might it be like to enjoy a teacher’s presentation with the anticipation of participating in his or her class? What joy (or struggle) might you remember from when you were this age and in this grade? What would happen if you asked your child, “What essential question, big idea, or thought that is important to you should I keep in mind when I visit Crossroads this evening?”
I wonder what you’d learn about your child, about our school, and I wonder how your experience this evening might be changed.
With great expectations,