Growing up can be a series of big firsts or a collection of small victories - subtle boosts of confidence, random surges of independence, or unexpected jolts of courage.
Fourth graders Robert Wey and John Charles FitzGerald love recess. They will tell you it's their favorite part of the day. You can find them playing soccer, kickball, or racing after each other in tag. Recess gives them time to run. But last week, something on the playground stopped them cold. A group of Upper School students were using the outdoor classroom.
With the stealthiness of two lionesses tracking their prey, the boys crept up to the group and listened in. Mr. Rindge was discussing the elements of a persuasive speech with his 10th graders. For their entire recess period, the boys watched student after student present their arguments.
When the recess bell rang, Mr. Rindge approached John Charles and Robert and asked if they'd like to craft and present their own speeches. They did not hesitate.
A week later, Mr. Rindge invited the boys to his Upper School classroom.
John Charles went first. He outlined several steps to reducing plastic use. Next was Robert. When Robert suddenly got cold feet, John Charles volunteered to read Robert's speech about world hunger for him.
The tenth graders erupted with cheers. Victory.
Thank you to US faculty member Mr. Nick Rindge for believing in the power of small victories and sharing this story.