By Laura Gauld, Head of School and Executive Director, Boarding Schools
June 11, 2013 –Today was definitely an example of a solid region that continues to get stronger. We began the day with almost 50 people and the room was electric as we started with a mingle on the five words. As Claire Grant said, “It really felt like a family weekend, with students and parents hugging each other, milling around and catching up like an extended family.” Aaron’s Baba said about courage, “It is so important for us as parents to be willing to admit our mistakes to our children and that takes courage.” One father was on his cell phone and did not want to participate, but Fan Luo was able to engage him and he got on board by the end of the day.
After the mingle, we started through the day’s curriculum and with such a large group, we needed five small groups to share life stories which focused on important relationships . A seminar atmosphere was created and several parents were seen wiping away tears as they participated. Students were engaged and led this section. After the life stories, we shared some of the key relationships and people seemed eager to share. Applause was given to every comment.
Through the time lines and family mottos, it was clear that the parents were eager to have an experience with their child. They appreciated the sharing of the Hyde faculty. As one father said to me, “I have never seen the leader share struggles. That is not done here. Thank you.” Another mother said, “I really appreciate this opportunity that Hyde has given us to say things to my family that I didn’t have the courage to say.”
There was also opportunities for parents to clear the air of any issues that came up during the year regarding things as simple as understanding their tuition bill to questions about school culture. Like we need to do with all Hyde parents, we need to continue to find ways to help our international parents work through their questions as this will only strengthen their commitment.
Since we had two graduates in attendance, Tina and Tony, we ended the day with their speeches while the parents stood. Again, there was emotion and pride in the room. One mother who was struggling with whether to send her son back was able to meet with a few veteran mothers and hear their stories.
It was also a day of a lot of laughter and banter. As many parents said in the final circle wrap-up, “Thank you Hyde.” LDG