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Celebrating an Exciting Start
By Chrissy Khachane, Head of Lower School

We are about a week into the new school year and, as I shared with faculty at the end of last week, the energy on campus since the first day has been incredible. I am in awe of the ways the Lower School has fostered an incredible learning environment and community.

Some of the moments that have resonated with me:

  • Seeing more Kindergarten parents with tears than the Kindergarten students on the first day of school

  • Outdoor lunches on the picnic tables with students overjoyed from connecting with new classmates

  • Observing children's personalities shine through during brain breaks

  • Kindergarteners traveling throughout campus in search of Pete the Cat's lost shoes

  • Overhearing stories of excitement from picking potatoes in second grade

  • Students of all grades looking for their piece of bamboo on the growing collection of suspended moods

Last week I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with Kindergarten parents and to open the conversation by talking about the phenomenon of what it means to “instill a love of learning” in our children. The notion of instilling a love of learning in young children is not a new phenomenon but the conversation around this idea has evolved in recent years in exciting ways. I invite all parents in our community to listen to my thoughts on this and what principles remain at the core of who we are and what we do at Foote as we work to instill a love of learning in our students. You can hear a podcast of my presentation on our website or on Apple podcasts.

Another topic you will hear me reference often is the importance of using open-ended questions with children. Open-ended questions stimulate more language use, demonstrate there's many solutions to one problem, help encourage creative thinking and affirm children's self-confidence. At Foote we use open-ended questions because we want to encourage discussion, put the child at the center of the learning experience and create powerful learning moments. You'll find this to be a consistent approach with the questions I share each week here as well.

For this week's 'questions to ask at home' I invite you to pose the following to your children:

  1. What do you want to learn this year?

  2. What are you curious about?

  3. What can a person do with curiosity?

I hope it is a wonder-filled week for all and I look forward to connecting more in the coming weeks on campus and at Parents' Night on Thursday, September 19.

Since 1916, The Foote School has provided child-centered education that nurtures creativity, excellence and joy in learning.