I spoke to a fellow head of school from the East Coast who was bemoaning the coming of May. “When May hits, that means my students go crazy,” he observed. May is a time of excitement. It’s a time of senior pranks. It’s a time of students daydreaming about summer. It’s a time when teachers feel pressure to fulfill their academic objectives for the year. It’s also a time that kids can act a little squirrely.
It’s not surprising from a science-based perspective. A recent article in the science section of the Telegraph titled, “Children Have Energy Levels Higher Than Endurance Athletes” says it all. According to reporter Sarah Knapton, children not only have more energy than adults, their bodies can recover more quickly than endurance athletes. No teacher of young children (or parent) would be shocked by these results. (It’s a significant reason that kinesiology and physical education are essential elements of our Lower School program.)
Like all schools, we tend to see an uptick in minor issues with young kids and generally dumb decisions by adolescents. These are things that are just the natural part of growing up. The school will be as consistent as it can as it follows up with students and parents. Essentially, these are all “learning opportunities” at some level. Trust that our collective memories tend to be short, and we approach any student issue with compassion, empathy, and forgiveness.
In a recent email to the faculty, I tried to remind our faculty about the rites of spring and our need to remind students of our shared values and expectations. Summer will be here before we know it, but there is still learning to be done, and it helps when parents and schools support one another. So, if you get that call from a principal, I ask that you lean into the opportunity rather than push back. We are doing our best to ensure CA is a kind and caring community. Ultimately, we make these calls because we care about your children’s development, and we want them to be the best they can be.
May and June also mean that we are about to experience some of CA’s greatest traditions as we wind down the year. One is Interim in the Middle and Upper School (one of the best things about CA, and I am proud that we have a program that engages kids on an experiential level.), another is Giant Relay Day, and then there are Fifth and Eighth Grade Continuations (We also get to celebrate our students’ achievements in wonderful ways. And, there is a lot to celebrate.), and of course, Commencement (We have an amazing senior class of students headed to exciting schools next year.).
What we always see at this time of year is how our students—across all divisions—exceed our standards and expectations in amazing ways. Here is to a safe, powerful, and positive end of our school year!