There are times when we are in the midst of things that it is difficult to maintain perspective, to see the growth that occurs in our children every day.
Last spring, one of our graduates, now a freshman at Princeton University, wrote a letter to me and the teachers at Lake Tahoe School that reminded me of the opportunities we share as both parents and teachers. She wrote, specifically, of a memory related to relocating the campus:
“One of my fondest memories was … that the playground was awesome. By far the best part was the zip line contraption that stuck off the far end of the structure next to the monkey bars. I remember many a recess when we would race down the hill in hopes of being the first kid in line at the zip line.
“I loved playing on it as much as the next kid, but I was a small first grader, and no matter how much I struggled to stand on the tip toes of my Sketchers light up shoes, I just could not reach the handle. So every time I got to the front of the line, one of my favorite teachers would come over to the platform and lift me up until I could grab the handle of the zip line and enjoy my ride.
“I remember mumbling my shy thank you to my teacher every afternoon as I bounded past her to get back in line to ‘ride’ it again. This continued for the whole year, and the summer came. In between summer camps and beach days, the zip line didn’t even cross my mind.
“But on the first day of second grade, our class was out on the playground once again. As I got to the front of the string of kids lined up for the zip line, I called out to my teacher who had always helped me before. ‘Can you lift me up?’
“But Miss S. looked at my new shoes and assessed my summer growth spurt, smiled and said, ‘I think you can do it by yourself now. Try it!’ I got to the front of the line, and glanced back at her one last time before I reached up my hands. I didn’t even have to stand on my tip toes before my fingers touched the metal bar.”
Lauren continued by reminding us that Color/Blackall adults and even fellow students can help, guide and lift up children when things seem out of reach. They help us grow.
“And then one day, they see in us that growth and they say, ‘try it on your own now.’”
That encouragement and help allows youngsters to step forward confidently and reach for whatever bars they seek.
Ruth Glass is headmaster at Lake Tahoe School. She can be reached for comment through her blog at www.laketahoeschool.org.