Yesterday morning, we hosted an open house for prospective families. Almost all of the families in attendance will have children in Pre-K next year and said they had heard about Saint Columbkille through the testimonials of friends or neighbors. I am grateful to all of who have spread the word about our school and pleased that there is so much interest.
When we returned from our tour, I asked what impression they had of Saint Columbkille. One father immediately pointed to the students’ independence. During the tour, he had seen students who were fully engaged in learning, even when they were working without an adult standing over them.
When we think of schools and education, we most often think about the subjects that children will be learning, or a teacher standing in front of the room lecturing, which is likely the experience we had growing up. I am always impressed by how well our teachers have taught our students that they are in charge of their own learning, along with the teacher’s guidance and support.
Our prospective parents were impressed with the instruction in Mr. Early’s Pre-K classroom: students were learning letters and practicing counting. But, more importantly, Mr. Early was teaching students critical skills and values that will help them to become great citizens. They learn to take turns and share their toys with one another.
At Saint Columbkille, we teach our children that they all have responsibilities and that those responsibilities go beyond their own needs. This week, students have been streaming into the school office to willingly and happily donate their Halloween candy to service men and women far from home. If we want our nation and the world to become a kinder, more tolerant place, we must always take opportunities to teach children these valuable lessons. If we can teach these values to even our youngest students, imagine what they can accomplish as adults.