As a former English teacher, I’ve coached hundreds of students in writing essays, journals, responses, creative works. “Begin anywhere” is good advice for someone with writer’s block. And now I’m taking my own advice for this blog.
At Marin Academy (as well as in other independent schools), we talk about educating for the twenty-first century. This phrase evokes collaboration and interdisciplinary study, multiculturalism and a global lens, democracy and civic engagement, but most significantly, technology. Though we don’t know what the final nine decades of the twenty-first century will bring, we do know that the first eleven years have brought tremendous changes in technology, especially social media. Jokes about our kids on Facebook are now cliché. Articles about Google+ and education have cropped up over the last few weeks. Social media workshops and presentations have become a mainstay in educational conferences.
I’m no social media expert, but I’m committed to participating in discussions in the online sphere. Rather than formal letters every month (though there will still be a few), this is the place where I will share my thoughts on MA, education, independent schools, adolescent development, and whatever else is percolating in our classrooms and hallways. I will also share the voices and the spirit of MA. I invite your feedback and participation—guest blogging is encouraged, and the comment function is on.
At our new parent coffee last week, I shared a story about my family to the nervous/excited parents who had just dropped off their nervous/excited freshmen for orientation. This summer, my son Jack reached a milestone by climbing out of his crib. Since my partner Liz and I weren’t in the room, we’re not sure how he did it, but we suspect that it involved the changing table (and that his twin brother Henry watched the whole scene unfold). The reactions in the parent crowd (mostly laughter) indicated their relief—it has been a long time since their children were nineteen months old. But their sons and daughters have reached a milestone of their own with their first day of school. If we’ve learned anything from the MA parents who have come before, it is that high school will fly by before they (or we) know it.
So consider this blog another milestone for MA, and stay in touch.