September 8 – 14, 2012
This is an informal e-communication from Hyde-Bath and Hyde-Woodstock, intended to share highlights, signs of growth, issues that are being addressed and thoughts from the Heads of School. Its purpose is to bring the Hyde parents and the larger community into the school culture.
BATH CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
Know Yourself, Be Yourself
In what is becoming an annual event, middle school students from St. John’s Catholic School participated in Hyde’s “Know Yourself, Be Yourself” workshop on the Bath campus. The workshop introduces the students to some of the foundational principles and practices of Hyde School such as talking honestly about ones strengths and challenges as well as giving feedback to one another. In addition, the 8th grade students ran the activities on day two for their 6th and 7th grade schoolmates in hopes that they might gain confidence in themselves by providing leadership for the underclassmen of their school. The workshop was ably facilitated by Hyde students Tia Bauer ’13, Ethan Blatt ’13, Erika Corley ’13, Caroline Hammond ’13, Wilson MacMillan ’14, Michael McInerney ’13, Susanna McManus ’14, Wes Miller ’14, Carolyn Moore ’14, Isaac Preston ’13, Mady Preece ’13, Tarrah Tibbetts ’13, Alex Treat ’13, Austin Wang ’13 and Purple Zhao ’13 who also gained experience and confidence in their own leadership skills. The St. John’s middle school appreciated the enthusiastic support and honest feedback offered by the Hyde students. Our students can’t wait for their next opportunity to mentor middle school-aged students.
- “We are more alike than different. I can see that my classmates don’t wear masks – they are their true selves.” 8th grader
- “If we have siblings, we share that sense that our siblings get special treatment.” 8th grader
- “You pushed me to get louder and do a better job.” 8th grader to a Hyde facilitator
- “[My classmate] was really loud and confident today – I don’t hear that side of her around school.” 8th grader
Our Know Yourself, Be Yourself facilitators wrote a few comments about what they are learning about leadership and themselves:
- “I am learning how to initiate enthusiasm among younger kids and how to lead kids to think at a deeper level.”
- “I am learning how to ask more from others in the group. It is important to come from a place of personal experience.”
- “I’m learning how to give hints without taking over.”
- “They are only 8th graders and they are taking responsibility. Wow.”
Asking for the Truth
The Dean’s office has been very busy this week. As often times happens, a number of students decided at different points this week to “bet on the truth” and disclose some poor decisions they had made. Some of their decisions were related to rule-breaking they had been involved in last year while some of it involved indiscretions from the past couple of weeks. This led to other students being asked to be forthcoming regarding their involvement and before you know it, there were numerous students who were directly facing questions such as, “What role will honesty play in my life?”, “What sometimes prevents me from being honest?”, “What is my true obligation to friends and schoolmates?”, and “What will I choose to do now?” As a faculty, we discussed the events of the week in our Friday meeting and the thoughts and emotions varied from being excited for the chance to enter into students’ lives in a significant way, to discouragement that some of the students were not more honest to questions about how our role as adults and teachers in the community can or should change in response to our students. For many of us, we had all of these thoughts and emotions. The wisdom shared by our most veteran faculty members was that our role as teachers and parents is to ask and expect the truth, and then, to not shy away from it. In the long term, taking this approach will only strengthen our community and the individuals in it.
New Residence Hall Update
The foundation has been poured and the walls will start to go up next week. Also on the campus, the new gas lines and fiber optic lines have been installed. The dorms now all have wireless.
Governing of Self
The focus of senior Government this fall is the “Governing of Self.” Classes this week have moved from a reading on the limbic brain, to a TED video on “How Great Leaders Inspire,” to reading through Book One of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. The active discussion in the classroom has considered why human beings feel so deeply, how those feelings shape habits, and why and how humans must take control of their habits ethically. In this process, the seniors have begun to explore their own set of ethics and, to use Aristotle’s perspective, determine how “active” those ethics are in leading their lives. Aristotle brings our attention to the fact that ethics are not beliefs, but are simply habits; these habits are developed through constant action and repetition. Good ethics or habits are necessary in the pursuit of fulfilling our lives. This ongoing fulfillment of “ourselves” he refers to as the pursuit of “happiness.” The seniors grasped his contrast between happiness and pleasure: by pleasure Aristotle means temporary gratification, while happiness is a long-term enterprise of fulfillment which may not always be pleasurable. Though classical and ancient, the seniors seem to agree that Aristotle’s discussions are just as informative and compelling to personal governance today. Now on to the details of Moral Virtue and habituation!
WOODSTOCK CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
Hyde’s Learning Promise
After much discussion over the last few years about the process of learning and education, our schools have adopted a learning promise which states the following: We develop writers, speakers and problem solvers through …. Faculty workshops and training this summer have focused on key strategies for writing throughout the academic disciplines. In addition, each grade level will be identifying key assignments, activities and processes where Hyde develops speaking skills and problem solving. It is an exciting time for Hyde learning and this week several teachers shared some early classroom learning. Ms. Shauntay Hallett, first year English teacher writes, “In freshmen World Literature, we decided to take on the challenge and make it fun and as interactive as possible. For the fall semester, our students are working on building vocabulary. Each day, we go over the words by using a three part method: spelling, using them in a definition, and providing a sentence for each word. I asked my students to try to use the words in their everyday life and have been hearing them use these words in the dining hall, in school meetings, and in their down time. I am proud of their usage of the language!”
Wes Jenkins and his U.S. History class worked on problem solving skills with the following assignment. He writes, “In an effort to educate the students on the true conditions of colonization and early settlements, such as Jamestown and Plymouth, we traveled to the cross-country trail for an educational game. The colony game required students to come up with the founding principles, religion, politics and work force that would make up their settlement. Explorers needed to venture off on the trail and look for hidden note cards that earned the settlement resources, but at times held misfortune (such as finding a bear den and losing a settler). Every three minutes represented a month and their resources depleted, accordingly. The settlers also had to draw chance cards every month which had both good and bad outcomes. The leader had to rally the settlers to come to an agreement on the governmental system, religion, and buildings in their town. Some comments students made in our ending debrief reflected their understanding that life was hard and required everyone to work together in colonial times. They also realized how easy they have it today thanks to the hard work put in by their ancestors.”
I am capable of being a leader by asking the best of myself and others.
This week, we explored the concept of leadership. During morning meetings, Seniors led us in some discussions and the school meeting centered on aspects of both developing and following leadership. Students and faculty broke into smaller groups and identified those students who displayed leadership in their classes, sports teams and dorm wings. We also acknowledged those students who were trying to do something different this year. As one student said, “I am realizing that my leadership with others starts with my leadership with myself.”
Assistant Head John Rigney ended the meeting with a remembrance of the leadership displayed by those affected by 9/11. Many students and faculty shared their thoughts and feelings about that day. Mr. Rigney said, “We have an amount of time on this earth and we do not know when it will end. Our job is to develop our character to make the most of that time.” In the Thursday faculty meeting, the following students were cited for showing early leadership in and around school life; Connor McLaughlin, Alina Donnelly, Hannah Peters, Marcy Altobello, Jared Larsen, Alex Holland, Nick Davis, Steve Wang, Chris Travis, Tony Shao, Tina Zhang, Josh Bouchard, Jessie Schwartz, and Graham Davidson.
Soccer gets on the Scoreboard
Mother Nature provided a perfect fall day as the Hyde Men’s Varsity Soccer squad opened its 2012 campaign in convincing fashion, defeating defending New England Champions Rocky Hill 4-1. Focused and tenacious from the opening whistle, it was clear that the Wolf Pack was eager to attack. Hyde jumped on the score board just eight minutes into the game as striker Christian Ejiga ’13 made a beautiful run down the right flank and bent a perfect cross onto the head of senior midfielder Will Davis, who gently placed it just inside the far post for a 1-0 advantage. Ten minutes later, senior striker Sean Kokdil settled a nifty cross from fellow senior Jared Larsen and slammed it past the Rocky Hill keeper for a two goal lead. Kokdil notched his second goal of the game just six minutes later as he received a through ball from fellow striker Christian Ejiga, turned on a dime, and raced off for a breakaway goal. Christian finished Hyde’s scoring with eight minutes remaining in the first frame as he danced around two defenders inside the penalty box and calmly tucked the ball just inside the left post for a 4-0 lead. The Wolf Pack defense stymied the potent Rocky Hill attack throughout the first half led by Graham Davidson ’13, juniors Jake Hedrick and Felipe Azevedo, and freshman Toby Obayashi. Special kudos to net minder Parker Roma ’14, who did a spectacular job in goal, after just starting as a keeper a few days ago. Hyde rested on its laurels and the second half was dominated by Rocky Hill. Central defenders Graham Davidson and Jake Hedrick made numerous critical tackles to help preserve the win. It is clear that if Hyde is to fulfill its potential this season, it must be able to play a full 80 minute match.
We never know when our leadership affects others. The line of the week was Marcos Mercado ’14 to Greg Munetz ’13, “You do not know this, but you inspired me this summer with your leadership and work ethic.”
Laura D. Gauld | HYDE SCHOOLS
Head of School | Hyde-Woodstock