Each day at The Children's School begins with a tradition known as "Group Gathering." The entire school community comes together in a circle in the gym. Each day a different student runs the meeting -- giving important announcements, acknowledging visitors or new students, and introducing any topic, speaker or group song to sing.
At this year's eight grade graduation, our TCS Director of Curriculum and Intruction, Ms. Christina Martin, pulled from the experience of Group Gatherings as part of her inspirational comencement speech:
Life Lessons From Group Gathering (excerpts from Ms. Christina Martin's 2019 commencement address)
"...And now I'd like to talk for a moment about Group Gathering. For any audience members who don't know, Group Gathering is a daily routine at The Children's School where the whole school gathers in the morning and we sit on the floor in the gym for a welcome and for announcements.
Earlier today, about ten hours ago, you all experienced your very last Group Gathering, right? I would like to leave you with some life lessons I hope you have gleaned from your years of Group Gatherings.
Life Lesson Number One Try to find a comfortable place to sit, maybe where your back can rest against a wall. That is to say, take care of yourself. Treat yourself well and advocate for your needs and wishes.
Life Lesson Number Two Always sing Happy Birthday and welcome visitors. That is, take care of other people, those you know and those who are strangers.
Life Lesson Number Three Take time to notice and acknowledge who is absent. Recognize whose voices aren't being heard and who isn't represented in any given group or community.
Life Lesson Number Four Never be afraid to sing along enthusiastically, or perform in a drum or a dance ensemble, or get up on stage and impersonate a frog. Be yourself and be confident in sharing your talents and ideas with others.
As you head to high school and beyond, I know you will take care of yourselves, and take care of other people, and share your amazing talents with your family and friends, you community, and the world. Congratulations, Class of 2019!"
Even if your family does not have a student graduating, you would love our graduation celebrations and are welcome to join us. They are fun, moving, and inspirational events that really give an insight into the priceless gift of progressive education, as well as the lifelong memories and meaningful relationships that form between students and also between students and their teachers. Please come in 2020 and experience a TCS graduation for yourself!