A Word From the Head
April 16, 2015
Watch and Listen
Verbs demonstrate animation in our lives. There are two verbs in the English language that equip us for parenting: Watch and listen. Contrary to popular belief and practice, “talk” and “lecture” are not in the top two list. Watching and listening suggest several important messages to your child.
Watching. My mother and father attended most, if not all, of my soccer games when I was a boy. Soccer was new in 1978 in North Carolina, and Pele was in his prime. All mom and dad knew was that they knew very little about the game. That was irrelevant. To this day, I recall my parents being there and watching me.
They watched in the winter cold. They watched in the driving rain. They watched in the evening under the lights. I realize now that their attentiveness to me was more important than the game itself.
Listening. I have a good friend who gave some sage advice. As your teens grow toward the post-graduation days, you must learn the careful skill of listening all the more. The key to listening is not being quick to give a solution, not being quick to demonstrate shock, and not being quick to assume that you understand all that is running through your child’s heart and mind. Let them talk. As you demonstrate passive listening, with a slow steady pace of more listening and less “immediate advice,” they will have more to say to you.
I have a friend who occasionally lies in bed with her teenage daughter for some mother-daughter time. In the dark, they cannot read your face and will be more apt to talk. The daughter will talk, and talk, and talk. The mother will listen, and listen and listen – groggy and sleepy, as teens are sure to stay up late.
Parents, brace yourselves for a late night and just lie there and listen.
Verbs demonstrate animation in our lives. There are two verbs in the English language that equip us for parenting: Watch and listen. Contrary to popular belief and practice, "talk" and "lecture" are not in the top two list. Watching and listening suggest several important messages to your child.
Nick Gordon, our Director of PE, recently led our K-12 Staff Meeting with joyful zeal by introducing new objectives that he and his department have incorporated into our PE program this year. Nick used fellow staff members to demonstrate some of the new activities, which included your esteemed Head of School rolling around in a life-sized tea cup and making a fool of himself.
Beck Brydon, our Athletic Director, sent out an email last week to our 6th-12thgrade parents about the importance of our roles and behavior at sporting events. He and I talk about such things often, and our discussion stirred my thoughts towards the relationship between our community at a sports event and the Trinity.
Among many changes brought by our Skyward system, we're perhaps most delighted to announce an end to the registration packet. Beginning in a few weeks, registration will be completed online (at home, in your jammies!). Forms have been re-designed, and many fields are pre-populated, so the process is markedly faster and easier.
Our School of Rhetoric class trips prove to create memories and open new experiences. Check out the photo taken this week in Europe of Mr. Doerksen, Regents juniors (Cade Richardson, Tyler Robert, and Claire Hugman), and Matt Gore – Regents Class of 2012. As a Davidson College student, Matt is spending a year at Oxford University and was able to join the juniors briefly on their class trip.
What better day than a school snow day to cozy up together at home... and plan your summer activities!
Part of every Regents family's summer plans should include camps at Regents. Entering its 12th year of programs, Regents Summer Camps provide your children a great opportunity to stay connected to classmates, sharpen their skills, and have a lot fun. Everyone benefits -- the cost is more affordable than most summer camps, and it supports our coaches and teachers by allowing them to enjoy your children this summer while earning a little extra income.
Mr. Ron Wood -- our COO, Regents Men's Bible Study Leader, and a Regents grandfather -- is giving the School of Rhetoric Chapel talk on Monday. Below is part of his teaching from John 12. You can read the rest of it, as well as other great chapel talks and articles by our teachers and staff, at www.regentsschool.com/sorblog. Take a look. They are worth the read.
This season of Lent reminds Christians that we are fallen, broken creatures in need of redemption. Being redeemed from our brokenness resonates in the soul because we all share this human condition. All of us. Thankfully, we have a redeemer. Rob Williams, History Instructor in our School of Logic, is our guest writer this week. I love his insights on redemption through the inspiring paintings of Edward Hopper. My hope is that the message will kindle a spiritual pursuit in you this Lenten season.
Each morning I see students reading while they are walking down the plaza. Thankfully this multi-tasking is not as dangerous as texting while driving.
As a little boy, I fell in love with author Roald Dahl's imaginary world. Some of my favorite book-friends were Charlie, Danny, James, and the elusive Mr. Fox. The three boys were adventuresome, and Mr. Fox – well – he was wily, and that really appealed to me.
In my first year of being school administrator in North Carolina, my board chairman took me to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. to study a series of paintings. Honestly, I would rather have gone to the Redskins football game, but he was the boss. He took me to an octagon-shaped room. Four sides were doors leading down large art-filled corridors, and the other four walls housed Thomas Cole's four paintings called "The Voyage of Life."
On the first of January I grabbed my 20-year old paperback copy of Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God. The inside tag says "From the Library of Rod Gilbert." What is humorous about that tag is that I had 30 books in my 'library' at the time.
My blood pressure slows down when I contemplate Van Gogh's Midday Rest After Millet. I can smell fresh cut hay and I can hear the gentle breeze and I can feel the air on my bare feet. Take it in.
Baby, it's cold outside! But, it looks like we will be at school as normal tomorrow. With that said, it is a good time to remind everyone about our Inclement Weather Policy.
Communication lines for Inclement Weather:
Voice message on your home phone
Regents website homepage and athletics page for additional information and/or schedule changes
Text notification (if you have opted in)
Offices at Regents are closed for Christmas Break. There will be times an employee comes to campus to get caught up while it is quiet, but they have been asked to take some time off to be with family. There will be an 'out of office' email message to let you know when they will be reengaging with our Regents community.
I asked Ron Wood, our COO, to write a devotional on one of the key Christmas verses - John 1:12. Mr. Wood, a Regents grandfather and the Regents Men's Bible Study leader, wrote a lovely piece about accepting the message of Christ. Isn't it great that our COO leads a bible study and also tries his hand at writing Christian devotionals? Enjoy hearing his heart about the Christmas message.
Thank God for Handel's Messiah. Recently a teacher reminded me of one of the most powerful segments in that beautiful piece, ministering to my heart at just the right moment.
Through the vision and guiding principles of our founding families, the Regents community has experienced economic diversity amongst its students and families since 1992. In the last 15 years, 15-25% of our students have benefited from tuition assistance – and we wholeheartedly affirm that historical position.
I was in a Regents Homeroom Mom Coffee today with Mrs. Melanie Sharpless. An annual tradition since 2008, this discussion covered a wide range of topics regarding school construction, curriculum and finances. Melanie stated that, following a student's visit to her office for a behavioral infraction, she purposefully seeks to connect with the student away from her office.
Children often appeal, "But I'm not tired. I'm not ready for bed." A clever reply would be "Oh, you misunderstand; bedtime for the children is not so much for you as it is for mommy and me. Mommy and I need some time together alone in the evening. Your bedtime is built for us. So, go to bed."
Like a mighty waterfall, the value proposition of a private Christian school K-12 experience flows from a parent's vision for their child. We desire for our children to learn the three r's (reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic), surrounded by teachers who reflect our core convictions while living in today's world.
Parents bear the gift and burden of being misunderstood by their children. We are not their friends, their buds, or their crew. We are parents. That means that, oftentimes, we make mentoring judgment calls that do not make perfect sense to them. And, as the top hierarchically positioned people in the parent-child relationship, we have to learn to be ok with being misunderstood.
I can still remember the sting of the air in my lungs one winter when I failed to stop a penalty kick in the championship game. Rod, the unfortunate soccer goalie, missed the crisp shot and we lost 1-0. Did I say that I was ten years old and it was the New Hanover County Optimist Club Youth Soccer League? My soul felt so low because I let down my teammates, and I loathed the next school day when the winning team would be waiting for us on the playground.
Parenthood and mentorship reside at the core of our classical, Christian model of education because our style of education animates our human existence in profound and lovely ways. This model of education intertwines the Word of Christ and the experience of this beautiful world that Christ created.
How would you evaluate yourself as a mentor of children? Do you have the self-awareness and sense of confidence in Christ to be honest and vulnerable about your ability to truly guide them? I am not just talking about parenting. How would you evaluate your skills at coaching a flag football team where you manage the children, their parents, and volunteer parents who are coaching alongside you?
To be vulnerable and honest takes courage.
If I were to pick just one question to be painted on our walls, etched into the windows, and slated on banners, it would be: What defines an excellent teacher at Regents?
After 28 months of Vision 20/20 Phase 1 Construction, we are crossing the finish line. Whew! It was a wild ride!! Here are the five most common questions about our campus construction that we have received this summer...