This fall was filled with similar moments that brought back a sense of normalcy. From fans on the soccer field to our theater filled for the US play, Trap, to classrooms set up for the style of learning we pride ourselves on, it has been a year so far that more resembles 2019 than 2020.
Part of my professional practice has been to document the great teaching and learning that occurs in our classrooms. Recently during one of my walk throughs of classes, I found myself in a 9th grade Biology class.
As the school year ended in June 2021, we finally lifted our heads, stopped sprinting, took a deep breath, and felt the power of the moment and enormity of what had been accomplished. Let’s now focus on looking up, enjoying the moment, and truly being present.
This year has been marked by so many losses and provided so many limitations that it can sometimes be hard to find those moments when you get the chills. As we approach the one year mark of the shutdown, the losses can feel debilitating if we don’t also look at everything that has been accomplished and find those moments of joy and wonder.
It is not clear what will transpire over the next few days, but there is a pathway to change. It requires us to stand up and engage in civil discourse, work together, and live our Core Values. We will continue to work together, students, faculty, and staff to create a positive change at our School, in our community, and beyond.
We recently heard the stories of members of our community as part of ourVoicesassembly program. The program focused on elevating Black voices, and these Brimmer community members shared personal stories about their experiences in school, times when they have experienced anti-Black racism, and moments when they have felt like outsiders.
If we want to live out our guiding principle of “Empowered to Lead,” we need to help students develop their voices, so they feel authorized to enact the changes necessary to improve the world. I believe that we are working to help students see themselves as active participants, rather than young adults who will simply wait for the world to change.
Our School’s Core Values of Respect and Responsibility are two of the pillars that are essential tobeingour best selves and for creating community. To respect is to authentically see another person, hear what they are saying, and to value the contributions of each person.
Many adults can still recall where they were when they first heard news of attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the crashing of United Airlines Flight 93. Yet, this year marks the first time that Brimmer does not have any enrolled students who were alive on or before September 11, 2001.
We strive to make Brimmer a safe space for everyone who makes up that complex, beautiful tapestry, and because of this,we cannot ignore the fact that, in our society, people are treated differently based on their racial identity, their religious believes, or their country of origin. We need to listen to the stories of others, be empathic to those experiences, and use our voices against injustice and inequity.
Schools provide many opportunities for young people to talk to each other, exchange ideas, and learn to embrace difference. Brimmer’s faculty use pedagogies that help guide students and encourage them to think critically, communicate their thoughts, and listen and respond to others.
Whether it is through clubs, group work in class, little moments in the hallways, or the choices students make in their everyday lives, it is clear that being aware of one's voice and understanding how to use it is a critical part of developing as a young person in today’s world.
As an inclusive private school community, Brimmer welcomes students who will increase the diversity of our school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or any other characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, in the administration of our educational policies, admissions practices, financial aid decisions, and athletic and other school-administered programs.