During Convocation, Percy announced the theme for the year – Purpose. In the Upper School, it is clear from many conversations with faculty that their purpose is connected to working with students inside and outside of the classroom. Several summers ago, the faculty and I read Student Voice, The Instrument for Change by Russell Quaglia and Michael Corso. This book inspired us to help students find their voice and purpose through intentional engagement. Given our theme for the year, I find the text once again strikes a chord.
After re-reading Student Voice recently, I am further convinced that the aspirations framework serves as a blueprint for our continued work with students. This framework suggests that every student has the ability to dream about the future and be inspired in the present to get there. The diagram below presents four profiles of common mindsets:
Our goal as an Upper School community is to cultivate an aspirations mindset in all of our students. The essential component in this effort is to provide many ways to inspire students in the present. The aspirations framework has three guiding principles that support student aspirations: self-worth, engagement, and purpose.
Supporting self-worth and promoting student engagement are key to helping students find purpose. When young people are confident and engaged in activities that they are passionate about, they make discoveries about themselves and spark lifelong habits, learning to work in the present towards goals for the future.
I encourage you to read Student Voice in the near future as a way to gain greater insight into how the faculty and I are approaching our work with students. I also invite you to join me for upcoming Roundtables (parents and students) as a vehicle for you to share your perspectives.