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A Word From the Head


November 13, 2014
Mr. Rod Gilbert, Head of School

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. She tries to get them to make eye contact, and if there is a little nervousness she will get on a knee and say, “Hey, you and I are okay. We are doing this together.” 

This happened yesterday. The little boy was sheepish at first, but a moment later you could see his shoulders move with an exhale of relief.

Mrs. Sharpless is exhibiting a lovely picture of redemption. Her story reminded me of a  “Word from the Head” article that I wrote in 2007 about the movie The Lion King. Here is an oldie but goodie….

Teaching Him a Lesson

Have you ever seen The Lion King? It is the story of a young cub going through life's lessons and then eventually becoming the Lion King. Angie and I had the honor of seeing the musical on Broadway with the Class of 2007 this spring. It was great!!

One scene depicts a moment when the father (Lion King) must discipline his young lion, Simba. The young cub was told by his father to stay away from the elephant bones graveyard, but he disobeyed. Worse than that, he took his little lioness girlfriend to the forbidden area. His father does not delay in rebuking his reckless son, and he explained in full detail why it was wrong. There was no relativism. The action was wrong. The young lion cub had made a mistake. But does the father stop there?

No. The scene fades and some moments pass, and the father talks about lineage, generational responsibility and duty. And, then it gets quiet. The next scene brought tears to my eyes.

The father, treating sin as far away as the East is to the West, begins to wrestle playfully with his son. They tumble in a field, laugh, and enjoy a "man-young man" reconnection. That is what I call a well-crafted delay switch mechanism. If you do it too soon after the rebuke, the child's attention is not gained. Wait a little while, and be subtle.

We adults often find ourselves in the situation of confronting a young person. But we must let the sin and rebuke fade into the background. The rebuked child needs a reconnection; even if it is a pat on the back a few hours later. Getting overly verbal in the "reconnection" deadens the spirit of the action. The reconnection communicates to the child,

"Our connection supersedes the disciplinary moment from earlier today. Maybe you were punished, but that is beyond my thoughts now. I have NOT withdrawn my intimate love for you. Now, let's move on together in this journey of life."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
While we are on the related subject of parent education, click here to visit our Parent Education Program (PEP) page and read William Glasgow’s address from the last Dads’ Lunch. It is rich with wisdom on ways to engage in your child’s education and how it will benefit you, your marriage, and your children. Then peruse ‘The Bookshelf’ list of picks. Better yet, visit “The Bookshelf” in person in Grammar Hall. This cozy spot in our lobby invites you to sit a spell and take a peek between the covers of some staff/parent/student favorites.

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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.
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Rod Gilbert
Head of School

B.S. Economics
M. Divinity, Mid Amer Sem
Ph.D. (candidate) S Baptist Sem
Interests: soccer, Alpine dairy goats

read his bio

 

 


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