As I prepare to spend our last Morning Meeting planning out both Founders’ Day (a special day off from middle school classes planned by and for the students) and the end of year trip, Lily happens to overhear that the Thursday night Middle School Rock Band is looking for a new lead singer for “Paradise.” She brightens, leans forward and says, “I’ll do it.” I don’t have a very strong sense of her as a singer, and I know we only have one, maybe two rehearsals before the next show, but I do have the instinct she wouldn’t step up if she didn’t have some level of confidence she could pull it off. I smile and say, “Thank you. Our next rehearsal is Thursday night six days from now.”
Athletic Director Annie Kandel attended the AISNE (Association for Independent Schools of New England) Health and Wellness Symposium last week. Annie reports:
You may have heard of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” and/or the book by Jay Asher. The book and series depict the suicide of 13-year-old Hannah Baker and, through recordings she left behind, events that preceded her death. I’ve seen countless discussions on social media between educators, many of whom are also parents, expressing their concerns with the series. Elana Premack Sandler’s piece in Psychology Today, “13 Reasons Why ‘13 Reasons Why’ Isn’t Getting It Right” does a great job of detailing some of the issues, concluding, “13 Reasons Why doesn’t tell the much more common story of people living with (struggling with, but living with) difficult emotions and experiences and figuring out, with support and help from others, how to survive.”
“Well, maybe we'll still make the keynote,” I said to my student as we began the 10-minute walk from Wheelock's main campus, where I had attended last year's GLSEN Massachusetts Spring Conference (GLSEN being an organization that supports LGBTQ+ students and educators as well as their allies), to Wheelock's Brookline campus where, it turned out, this year's conference was held. They (the pronoun this student uses; here is a list of common choices) answered cheerfully, “Oh, it's okay. We'll get there.”
Recently, a colleague shared out an article with the unfortunate headline, “My Daughter Is Not Transgender, She’s a Tomboy.” The author, Lisa Selin Davis, seemed to be saying she wished people would stop questioning her daughter’s gender identity based on her gender expression, including not only people who have fairly limited ideas of how boys and girls look and/or should look but also well-meaning people who wondered - repeatedly - if she was transgender and what pronouns she used. Ms. Davis wrote that she appreciated both the well-meaning question of whether her child might be transgender and the sensitivity to pronouns, objecting rather to those times when people seemed skeptical of the answers and/or kept re-asking the questions. I shared the article on Twitter, adding the comment, “Seems like the underlying message is adults need to listen to kids about how they view who they are w/openness to all genders/expressions.” And several of my colleagues told me they enjoyed the article, thinking in particular of their own daughters who are frequently mistaken for boys.
Three Prize-Winning Student Poems
by Miles DeClue '18