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03/03/2012

Comments

Charlie has hit the proverbial nail on the head and sometimes it may well have been the head of the school who gets hit with all kinds of strange requests from parents. I am among the oldest, still somewhat active, dinosaurs,a prosauropod to be specific and I can recall the seismic shifts in the head's office and role over the past 50 years. I still think we sometimes cater too much to the whims of parents to keep them engaged, happy and enrolled. One of my favorite lines, after several meetings with parents, was,
"Mr and Mrs Jones, we have made our decision. Now it's time for you to make yours. We would be delighted to have you stay but if we're not meeting your needs (or your child's) then we will gladly help you find another, more appropriate school."

I had to smile when I read Charlie's comment about the parent pulling their child because the parents do not feel like the community is appropriate for them. As one of those new Gen-X Heads of School, even I have been stunned by those types of comments. While I certainly appreciate the need to create a warm and welcoming community, I am increasingly concerned that in our zeal to create community we are spending more and more time catering to parents personal needs. Until our mission changes - in our case, "provide an extraordinary educational experience that fosters a love of learning and provides students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to reach their highest individual potential in school and in life" - I will be hard-pressed to prioritize even more social gatherings for our parents over the educational needs of our children. Fortunately, I actually think the vast majority of our parents agree. What's more, as a parent of three young children, I am focused on letting my children's lives be their lives, while I live my own. After all, I've already had my childhood. It's their turn.

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