“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”

Dear Bush Upper School Community,

As we make our way through the second week of classes, I want to share that there is a high level of energy and engagement throughout the buildings. I believe this is a direct result of the care and intention that faculty have put into designing their lessons, coupled with students’ enthusiasm for the start of a new school year. With 281 students in the Upper School, it goes without saying that at every turn there is bound to be a smiling face.

During our start-up meetings, the faculty and I discussed the following quote by Ignacio Estrada: “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” We came away with affirmation that our approach to teaching has at its core the fundamental belief that all students can learn. We also hold firmly that it is our collective responsibility to ensure that all students are appropriately challenged, and are simultaneously given the support to develop skills and mastery of the curriculum.

This approach will not automatically translate into straight As. Instead, it will engender a high level of confidence in students, while creating an atmosphere that focuses on the process of learning, instead of the outcomes exclusively. Faculty and students together will discover a deeper level of engagement when we are all working collaboratively.

During the same meeting, we explored another quote, an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” It was universally acknowledged that as a faculty, we will work together to ensure that each student is seen, valued, and heard for their unique strengths and talents. We also believe that our students are poised to create dynamic and creative ways for addressing local and global issues that are present in our society.

I am encouraged by my conversations with students thus far and their high level of optimism about the year ahead. We have new clubs sprouting, returning clubs strengthening, and a vibrant tenor in the air.

I look forward to seeing parents and guardians next week at US Curriculum Night on Wednesday, September 27 at 6:00 p.m. During this event you will get to attend each of your child’s classes and meet their teachers in fifteen-minute sessions. It is a great opportunity to see what students experience daily. There will undoubtedly be some expressions of “I wish I could take that class,” or “I can’t wait to get home to check in with my child about this AWESOME class.” I am excited to share with you the excellent curriculum and incredible teachers that make up the Bush Upper School. You will learn how we challenge and prepare students academically, while also providing opportunities for them to learn and thrive socially.

In closing, I want you to bottle up this high level of energy for those times when you feel you’re on empty, or you just need a recharge. Here’s to another school year!

Sincerely,

Ray Wilson

Upper School Director

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