One of the favorite books my own children loved followed the adventures of a young boy who wanted to be someone different every day. One day he was an explorer, and another day he might have been an astronaut. His imagination took him many places near and far. By exploring many interests and talents, possibilities opened up for the little boy for his life, clarifying what he wanted to be. The question that we always asked at the conclusion of the story, however, was: “Who do you want to be?” For me, that was the more significant goal. It led to conversations about character and conduct and how each child wanted to be perceived by others. To be kind, to be nice, and to be a friend to all was the ultimate goal.
At St. Michael’s, we have opportunities to explore both questions with our students. Our academic program opens many doors of possibilities for continued study and exploration. In addition, there are occasions throughout the year when career possibilities become part of students’ dreams for the future. This begins to open the door to answering the “what” part of their aspirations.
Of perhaps more importance, however, is a deeper question of “who.” Throughout a student’s time at St. Michael’s, we have the privilege of being partners with parents in shaping the moral compass of a child. Interwoven throughout the day, whether in chapel, or on the playground, or in the classroom, our students learn about character and the virtues that shape the person. Teachers and staff become the role-models in character formation. At St. Michael’s, our students come to understand, through relationships and friendships, the fundamental importance of being kind. Kindness gets you everywhere. As the popular song by Tim McGraw goes, “Always be humble and kind.” Children will not always do it perfectly, and each learns along the way, but in following the Golden Rule the road map is clear. Treat others the way you want to be treated, and always remember to be kind.
Head of School