The Power of Questions

Carl Vallely, Head of Middle School

As we gather to officially open this new school year, I want to take a moment to talk about the incredible power of questions. Questions are the keys that unlock the doors to knowledge, creativity, and growth. They ignite curiosity and inspire us to explore the world around us. Today, I want to emphasize just how crucial it is to ask questions, not just in the classroom but in every aspect of your life.
When the senior administrative team, with input from the faculty, developed this year’s theme, including the word Question was an easy decision. Questions are such a vital part of education. At Brimmer, all your courses are guided by essential questions. These are the questions that frame the learning that will happen in each course. I believe that asking questions is the foundation of learning. It's how we make sense of the world, challenge the status quo, and drive innovation, creation, and change.
First and foremost, asking questions is about curiosity. It's about that desire to understand the world, to unravel its mysteries, and to learn something new every day. Think about all the great discoveries in history—from the inventions of the light bulb and the automobile to the exploration of space—they all began with someone asking, "I wonder what would happen if?" or "Why not?"

But questions are not just about seeking answers; they're also about critical thinking. When you ask questions, you're not just accepting things at face value; you're challenging assumptions and evaluating the information you receive. This is a skill that will serve you well not only in your academic journey but in every aspect of your life.
Asking questions is also about empowerment. When you ask questions, you take an active role in your own learning. You're not just passive recipient of information; you're an engaged learner involved in the process. By asking questions, you can direct your learning, delve into subjects that genuinely interest you, and make your education a meaningful and personalized experience.
Furthermore, asking questions is at the center of problem-solving. The ability to identify problems and ask the right questions to solve them is a skill that is highly sought after in today's world. Whether you're tackling a complex math problem, addressing a social issue, or navigating personal challenges, asking the right questions is often the first step towards finding solutions.
Finally, let's not forget the power of questions in building community. When you ask questions, you're showing genuine interest in others. You're building connections and fostering relationships. And these questions don’t have to be profound. A simple “how are you?” or “would you like to sit with us?” can go a long way.
As we embark on this new school year, I encourage each of you to embrace the art of asking questions. Both in the classroom and outside of it, remember that the path to understanding, progress, and creativity is paved with questions.
Questions are vital. Don’t be afraid to ask, to wonder, and to explore. The answers you seek may lead you to new horizons and inspire you. Thank you, and let's make this school year one of curiosity, exploration, and growth!
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.