Last week, some of my photos ended up on top of one another while others landed on top of part of my narration. After talking with my tech guru Matthew Ross, I will try smaller pictures this week and see what happens. I took this first group of photos (at bottom) backstage before the beginning of the dance concert and then during the party that followed the final performance. Mike and I so enjoy the energy backstage before and during the concert. This is where one truly gets to see the community that has been built during the many weeks of rehearsals. Dancers are happy to help one another with make-up, costumes, movements, or just plain old support. Some students actually do try to get homework done while waiting to go on, while others manage to close their eyes for a quick nap. You can see a happy group of dancers who are warmed up and ready to go! The next group of photos were taken during the party--a time to celebrate an amazing performance and to thank our fearless leader, Annie Dwyer. I had to include a picture of Susannah Butters who appears with Miles, one of our talented dancers. Susannah has been Annie's stage manager for the past two years and she will be sorely missed! For those of you who were able to attend one of the concerts, I know you join me in singing Annie's praises...and those of all her dancers, techies, and musicians.
I included 2 pictures at the very top of our peer tutoring program in action. We are very pleased with the success of this program, which Bob Druhan supervises. At the beginning of each trimester, Bob asks staff members for a list of students who are willing to tutor, in which subjects they feel comfortable tutoring, and when they are available; and a list of students who need tutoring. He then begins the work of matching tutors and tutorees. Some pairings are able to find a period in common when they can work together in the library. Some tutoring takes place after school. Our peer tutors receive community service credit for this work.
Another example of student teaching is senior Susannah Butters who works as Dave's assistant in a beginning algebra class. Susannah is a strong math student who is taking Calculus. While working with Dave with younger students, she travels around the room assisting them with in-class work. She also teaches lessons, when needed. Georgia Valentine fills the same role in Rob's Spanish II class. Having older students work side-by-side with staff members in the classroom offers invaluable lessons for all concerned. We firmly believe in placing students in leadership roles. They are fulfilling a real need in the classroom, sending an important message to younger students, and learning important skills themselves.
WINTER SERVICE DAYS
Students will not be found in their classrooms on Wednesday and Thursday. Instead, you will find them working in one of the following locations: Ronald McDonald House, Duke Gardens, Durham Land Trust, SEEDS, Music Makers, Eno River, Carnivore Preservation, Gleaning out in farm fields, singing in nursing homes, or at CFS. One of the tenets of our philosophy is the Belief in the Spirituality of Life, which implies: "Effort to instill a sense of awe and reverence for nature; responsible stewarship of all our resources; intentional teaching of a humble interaction with, rather than an arrogant attitude toward, living things; commitment to serve and empower others; celebration of the inner life of persons; respect for the harmony of mind, body, and spirit." With these thoughts in mind, we will spend these days in the service of others.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19
Friday is our last half-day before winter break. We will begin the day with a holiday banquet that has been organized by the Clerks Committee. At 10am, we head to the Center for our annual talent show. Every senior must perform (loosely translated) and all others are invited and welcome to perform. This talent show is not open to the public. Our target audience is the Upper School community. It is a great celebration of the many talents that our students possess and a fun way to end the calendar year.
HAPPY HOLIDAY TO ALL. PEACE AND BLESSINGS. SEE YOU IN 2009.