Notes from the Head

Typically, when we talk about the value Stewardship, we focus on our responsibility to care for Mother Earth and her resources that we attempt to use wisely. The celebration of Earth Day later this month raises our understanding and appreciation for the environment and our natural resources that are necessary to sustain our planet. As we introduced this value in chapel this week, we considered not only the care of the earth resources but also the consideration of the care for each other. What better place to carry that out than at our school, where the major business and interest is around the people who make up our community and the children we serve. When we care for each other, we are caring for God’s creation. After all, God created us to be the chief stewards of the earth.

As only children can do, our students immediately embraced the care for one  another as an important responsibility. Our students do a terrific job of keeping our campus clean. We try to conserve water and recycle paper and plastics. St. Michael’s has received recognition for being a “green” school and the students take great pride in that. What we also cultivate, however,  is kindness and care for each other. Sometimes that’s not so easy. Sometimes we say or do things that cause hurt feelings or sadness.

So I asked the question, ” What do we do when our feelings are not feeling well?” The first answer came quickly from a young student. “I just sit with my friend and listen to how their feelings became hurt. Maybe I’ll give them a hug” Others added, “I ask them to come play.” “I try to make them laugh.” “I let them know that they are my friend and I care.” And that’s what friends do. Friends care. Friends listen. Friend sit with one another. Friends give a hug. We give the support that’s needed to help heal the feelings when a person’s feelings are not feeling well.

Caring for our earth and caring for each other are both forms of stewardship. One keeps our campus beautiful and the other builds community,  showing that each person matters. Each person, adult or child, has value. Together each person brings talent, treasures, and richness to the community we call St. Michael’s School. Together we are stewards of this corner of the world we call our school. And often, it’s the children who lead us. That’s just as it should be, don’t you think?

Margaret Moore

Head of School

The Courage To Be Kind

This month, we are discussing the value of Stewardship. A traditional approach in understanding Stewardship is through an examination of how we care for our world, using our resources wisely. This fits nicely, particularly with the celebration of Earth Day. Another way to approach Stewardship, however, is in how we care for each other and ourselves. We all, on occasion, fall short in this arena. We know that we should be kind to each other and gentle with ourselves, but putting it into practice can be challenging at times. So we have talked about this aspect of Stewardship in our chapel services, examining ways that we can be more attentive and sensitive to the needs of others.

Living in a digital world, it becomes so easy to say things in text messages or emails that can be misunderstood because of brevity and tone. At the same time, our students are living in a world where social media is the dominant form of communication for many. It is not unusual to read in the paper or on the Internet of students whose world has been devastated by a message said to them or about them posted on social media. No one likes to be embarrassed in front of others, but social media has expanded the spotlight to include hundreds beyond our immediate circle of friends. So as we talk about Stewardship in light of caring for others and for ourselves, we remind our students to be kind in all areas of their life, including in what we say to and about one another both at school, outside of school, and through digital circles such as social media.

When I was growing up, way too long ago, the message was, “Don’t put anything in writing you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times.” Today, that has now changed to cautions about what could appear on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other popular social-media platforms. Within our community, we continue to emphasize the beautiful Ben’s Bells mural on our wall, St. Michael’s Students have the courage to BE KIND. It’s certainly a message we all can live by as we care for each other within our wonderful community on Wilmot.

Margaret Moore

Head of School