“I like going to school; my teachers love me.”
Preschoolers are full of quotable, interesting, and sometimes humorous comments. At three or four years old, their filters are not what they will be. For instance, one student told our Mayor, “Papenfuse is a funny name.” Their comments reveal just what they are thinking and feeling, which is why Clay’s remark last week, as he entered the classroom, was so moving.
We celebrate that Clay, and all New City School students, are known and loved in their classrooms. As a school built on the love of Christ, we are grateful when we see the fruit of this in comments like Clay’s or in the passion of students who love going to school and, likewise, dislike leaving at the end of the day.
One of the key priorities that make New City School a successful program is parent and guardian investment. Notwithstanding the cold and flu season, we typically have 100% attendance in both classrooms—twenty students whose parents or guardians labor to make it work and twenty students who will soon be ready to enter kindergarten and succeed.
It truly is a parent partnership with the NCS staff—a partnership in which we recognize the parents’ key role in the successful education of children. Dr. Knight-Burney, Superintendent of the Harrisburg School District, once told me that she envied the position we were in; we can require parent investment. As a seasoned educator, she knows well the value of parent investment to the education experience. The partnership is more than bringing one’s child to school and reviewing numbers and letters. It’s taking advantage of teachable moments, cultivating a love for learning, and sharing the wonder of discovery through books and exploration of the world around them. It’s reinforcing a culture of responsibility, respect, and kindness.
We are thrilled that Clay knows that his teachers love him. Similarly, we are ecstatic when we see parents and caregivers displaying love through the extraordinary effort it so often takes to bring children to school and to cultivate a love of learning in their home.