In my opinion, great educators see teaching not as a job but as a vocation – a calling and a professional pursuit that is particularly worthy and that requires great personal investment and extra dedication.

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I’ve worked with many extraordinary educators over the course of my decades-long career –  including at some very fine and nationally-recognized schools (likely because they include high schools and stellar college placement records*) such as Germantown Friends School and Moses Brown School, and I have never experienced as much dedication, flexibility, investment, and collegiality as I have witnessed at BFS. 

It was all on display yesterday – their audacity, courage, and gifted capacities – and all while carrying the 75-pound backpack of teaching, navigating, and emotionally holding everything that this pandemic has been and continues to be throwing at them.  It was how they showed up – even those that had to teach from home for a few more days, faces fully filling the smartboards at the front of their classrooms – ready to be fully engaged with every learner, committed to getting the New Year off to a great start, and caring about how they would offer their students their very best that was impressive and inspiring to me. 

It remains a professional and personal privilege to know and work with all of them.  As we look ahead to the remainder of the school year, I want to strongly emphasize and call upon all of us to double-down more than ever.  Together, and in the personal choices we can make that contribute to the greater good and the health and safety of everyone in our families, communities, and the larger world, we must keep adhering with vigilance to our agreed-upon protocols and commitments and “investing in the success and the well-being of each child, family, and one another.”  When it comes to being at school – and continuing with in-person learning at school – the bottom line is that “our children and teachers are counting on us.”

(* Of course, BFS’s broad-based program and commitment to the individual promise of each student also enjoys a similar reputation.  The college placement story of BFS graduates is exemplary.  Many credit their years here as the most influential in their educational journey, personal development, and ability to pursue and experience meaningful lives with others.  And, FYI, all eleven Eighth Graders who applied for early admission to George School this year were accepted in December.)

For another day and another post – why BFS is a “just-the-right-size school” and the advantages of a K-8 school.

4 thoughts on “Their audacity, courage, and gifted capacities were all on display

  1. A very kind, appropriate and meaningful thank you for a well-deserving audience! As a BFS Class of ’89, I would like to thank Paul for his leadership of this wonderful staff through so many challenges. I’m so fortunate that I never had to go through a period at school like this, but knowing how dedicated the teachers at BFS are to giving my son the best possible experience – despite the crazy environment currently surrounding us – give me great appreciation for the school. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Very impressive! I am thrilled to participate in my two grandkids’ education at BFS. My daughter, son, and grandson went to Germantown Friends and I was awed by what they found and learned there.. To see my new set of grandkids having a transformative time at BFS makes me grateful, humble, and amazed!

    Congratulations to the Eleven Eighth graders! Congratulations and thanks for all the hard work and dedication of teachers, staff and Paul. My family knows you are changing kids’ lives.

  3. This is so well said, thank you, Paul! Our family is so incredibly grateful for the wonderful teachers at BFS. Their positivity, ability to adapt, innovate and maintain engaging, connected relationships with the students both in-person and virtually is something truly special. So much appreciation and admiration for our BFS faculty and staff!

  4. We appreciate ALL the teachers at BFS, and just a special shout out to Stephanie Thliveris who devoted after-school time yesterday to walk me and Olivia through a pretty impressive science project! (I told her I don’t even think I did this in college!) What a wonderful teacher she is!! It meant a lot to us to get that extra, individual support.

    I’ve been so moved by and impressed with all the teachers…and their dedication – especially at this time.

    We’re so lucky to be a part of this amazing community!

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