A message from Dr. Josh Deitch, Head of Middle School: "These times between Thanksgiving and winter break can always seem hectic in the life of a school. Everyone looks ahead to the time off, there's always some kind of sweet treat in a classroom or faculty room, and the weather reminds us that we have a few more months of gray and cold to endure. On top of that, the schoolwork doesn't stop. We know that when we come back from break, we'll be running into the end of the semester and all that that entails. That's why in these few weeks, I always find myself reflecting on our core Virtue of Kindness.
In my opinion, Kindness is our most important virtue. It's so much more than being nice, there's an openness to kindness; a vulnerability, a courage to connect to the humanity of others. Last week, our Middle School students reflected on ways that kindness can show up in our lives.
After brainstorming a variety of acts of kindness, Grade 6 created a Kindness Calendar, urging us to live these values over the next two weeks. Grade 7 took their view of kindness on the road, partnering with four different organizations - Long Ridge Rehabilitation Center, Person-To-Person, New Covenant Center, and Children's Learning Center - to offer their time, cheer, and selves. Finally, our Grade 8 students took the time to recognize and express their gratitude to the folks who make our campus and community run, but that may not always be the most visible.
In hectic times like these, kindness can sometimes be pushed aside or overlooked. So, over the next few weeks, don't forget to care for one another, to ask your children important questions, such as 'was anyone kind to you today?', and to take those opportunities to look out for moments of shared humanity."
Lexie Feldman, Grade 7 student, enjoyed the visit to the Long Ridge Rehabilitation Center and adds, "I learned how happy it could make some people if you just play, talk or sing to them. After meeting many people, I learned that you have to live your best life and be grateful for what you have."
Lucia Vivanco, Grade 6 student, reflects on what the Kindness Calendar means to her, "I think the kindness calendar is important because it can send us on a mission to do a small or random act of kindness that sometimes we forget to do in our busy lives. Sometimes we forget about being the best we can to others when we have so much to do and be excited for. To me, kindness means that you make a positive difference in someone's life, simply because it is who you are. It means reaching out and saying that you notice someone, that they're there, and you want them to have a great day. Sometimes it is a simple act, sometimes it is dedicating your life to help others. Being kind is not something you must do, but something you choose to do, and psychologically makes both people feel happier. I hope other students and myself learn from the kindness calendar that one act of kindness really does make a difference. That you can inspire others to do the same and improve lives. Students can notice how they feel when they receive acts of kindness and that can motivate them to look for the kindness in themselves."
These events, and many others on campus, support the idea that when adolescents can delve into an expansive range of interests and topics, they are more likely to discover the multitude of their talents and passions, as well as identify opportunities for growth. Students who feel supported in keeping open minds ask, “What’s next?” and “Why not?” as they look to their futures. The entire MS Community wishes you a happy and healthy holiday.