"I am so nervous.....will people criticize...what should I wear that will make people think I'm serious.....oh I hope noone criticizes....I am so nervous" I recited this turbulence over and over in my mind and out lout yesterday. I was preparing to give the welcome speech to our school's annual fund raiser, and I wanted it to be extraordinary.
"Sam, when I'm done, will you stand on your chair and clap and whistle?" I thought this would help get rid of the critics in the crowd if there were any. He laughed at my question....which was not exactly what I wanted, but I know he endlessly supports me.
I texted my best friend and asked her to wish me well. I asked my good friends in the audience to smile at me and let me know everything is ok. I grasped for reassurance.
As I drove towards the school, I realized that I was about to "dare greatly." I was about to express my passion for children through this speech, and it was exciting. I had something to say! I was going to show up in life's arena, and that is where I found the courage to give (read) my speech..
And this is what I said:
I offer you a special invitation tonight.
I invite you to consider the impact our kids are making in the world, and the role you and I play. Our role as parents, families, teachers and community members is to support the development of our children’s inherent being. When we focus on the process of learning, not the outcome, our children develop their innate curiosity, which causes them to show interest on their own initiative. In this way, we instill in them a thirst for knowledge. They reach for their own calling, kindling their own desire to live not just a successful life, but a meaningful one.
I want every child today to know that they are important. I want to encourage them to be free with their imagination. I invite each child to imagine all they want and express themselves without fear. How else will they know their capabilities? They have an intrinsic ability to be visionary and inventive. All they need to be is themselves, and they can express who they are in anyway they choose as they develop.
HCMS offers an environment for our children that supports and encourages their authenticity.
When we foster our children’s creativity on a daily basis we teach them one of the most valuable lessons of all; to rely on themselves to solve life’s problems. Every boy and every girl has the capacity to place their unique imprint on the universe.
I invite you to let them dance and not worry about the performance at the end. Let them draw and not concern themselves with how good or bad the product is. Let them go to school and not be anxious about the grade they get. Let them fly in their imagination without us telling them they are impractical for doing so.
If we want our children to listen to their inner voice, to love the process of learning, to enjoy the mastery of a skill, to indulge in taking a risk and to accept themselves when they fail, then we need to focus not on the outcome of the process, not on the perfection of an activity, but rather on the courage to learn after making mistakes. This will teach them how to manifest their true potential.
When we teach our children to enjoy the question, we demonstrate a love of learning and an insatiable curiosity about life. We have the opportunity to build our children’s confidence as they explore the world for answers rather than depleting their confidence by offering them the solutions.
I support the leadership, the staff, the families and the community of HCMS because it’s this environment that provides these possibilities to our kids. I am amazed by a child’s spirit, which knows no limits. Their ability to imagine, invent and create is extraordinary.
There are students at our school right now that are interested in education, sports, literature, acting, space, religion, art, engineering, health, bringing peace to the world, media, and the list goes on.
Tonight we participate in supporting our students. Together we provide the opportunities for them, turning their dreams into reality. We are on the edge of education, leading the industry and there is not a more meaningful task than guiding the students of HCMS.
I believe the education provided by HCMS is and will continue to positively impact the world. I am honored to be the Board Chair of HCMS and to support the opportunities our students receive daily.
The Board and I are proud and privileged to collaborate our efforts with our new Head of School, Steve Whewell. Steve shares our passion for education and dedication to the school’s mission. He joins our teachers and staff in supporting the Montessori philosophy, offering leadership and support to their efforts and hard work.