Our Secret Sauce: The Joys of Childhood

On this eve of Thanksgiving, I’m catching up on emails, reading, and some TV. I’m still smiling at yesterday’s events on campus; our buildings, hallways and playgrounds were packed with the joy and laughter of families. We welcomed over 320 parents, grandparents and special friends on our campus. The first visitor arrived at our gates at 7:25am! Clearly, there was much enthusiasm and excitement from the youngest to the oldest as we celebrated together this week of Thanksgiving.

The joy and laughter that are omnipresent on our campus have always been remarkable to me. I’ve worked in four different schools now and nowhere is this feeling as clear as it is at The Children’s School. No wonder Izzy (grade 1) and Charlie (PK) said to their grandmother that I smile a lot! One recent visitor to our campus – an administrator at a local institution – observed that he had just entered Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. (I love that analogy!)

So, what’s our secret sauce? What are we doing at TCS? We’ve been interviewing this fall for an Assistant Head of School. Each candidate has been asked several questions. One of them goes like this: “As a school dedicated to young children and childhood, we’d like to learn more about your childhood. What was that like? What did you like to play? What were your hobbies, and who were your heroes growing up?” Invariably, the candidates light up as the question takes them back to those years. There’s a noticeable parting of the lips into a giant smile as they begin to talk. It’s clear that that question invokes joyful memories. Children bring out the best in us; they remind us of our own childhood dreams; of the times when nothing felt impossible as long as we could imagine it. Working or going to a school like TCS allows us to stay in touch with those dreams and our best selves every day. When we as adults forget those dreams, we only need to look around us and see our children building castles in the air and are tempted – even invited – to join them.

So, what was your childhood like? Who were your heroes? What did you like to play? These questions are not simply relevant for our children; they are essential to our journeys as adults. This week, as you spend time with your family and friends, take a moment to ask these questions of each other. Then, play those games. Introduce those heroes to your children. Indulge yourself in that hobby. And if you’re lacking in inspiration, look to your children or visit us at The Children’s School.

Today, I find myself grateful for a job I love. Thank you for giving me this privilege.

For the children,