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From the head

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One of the goals we all have for our students is for them to fulfill their potential and have meaningful achievements. At Hyde, we believe that character building is the foundation for that meaningful achievement. Along the way, there will be risks, successes, and failures--all of which serve as important learning opportunities.

A recent book by Jennifer Breheny Wallace, Never Enough: When Achievement Becomes Toxic and What We Can Do About It, focuses on achievement culture and the toxic effect that it is having on students and their parents. While we all want our children to achieve, Hyde was founded to test the hypothesis that the development of character and morals would lead to meaningful achievement and fulfillment.

In this week's school meeting, we asked everyone to identify ways in which we are evaluated in the achievement culture. Among the items shared were:

  • job
  • salary
  • athletics
  • house (or how many houses)
  • car
  • where you went to school
  • stuff you have
  • your appearance
  • awards
  • social status
  • how your children are doing

Then we discussed how we would evaluate someone in a Character CultureThese traits included:

  • hard work
  • honesty
  • caring
  • empathy
  • integrity
  • doing the right thing
  • perseverance
  • discipline
  • morals
  • self-control

Some of the comments students made showed their insight:

  • "The items we listed on the character side are things we can really control."
  • "It is easy to get caught up in the image side of life, but it is not fulfilling."
  • "Everyone can continue to get better on the character side."

It was a great first school meeting to kick off the year!


Laura D. Gauld '76

Archive: From the Head