MS Head's Blog
In the Middle of It All
Middle School Musings by Trevor O’Driscoll, Bancroft's Head of Middle School
Most weeks, MS Head Trevor O’Driscoll writes a short note to parents and faculty about middle school, education, parenting, and other topics relevant to our community. We share these Middle School Musings here for the benefit and enjoyment of all who are interested. Read recent entries, browse the archives, and delight in Mr. O’Driscoll’s take on our Middle School and the amazing people who inhabit it.
Meeting (and Celebrating) Kids Where They Are
The other day at a Middle School assembly I recognized two seventh grade athletes, a volleyball player and a cross country runner, for their accomplishments as Bulldogs. The volleyball player was a huge factor in the team’s win, scoring five points in a row in the deciding match. In just her second season of the sport, her winning contributions were especially remarkable given that she spent much of the previous year trying to get the ball over the net, a skill that proved persistently elusive for her.
The cross country runner finished first in her most recent meet. What made her victory so notable was that she competes at the varsity level. She’s a 12-year-old who is very humbly beating 18-year-olds. The genuine and enthusiastic cheers that each of these athletes received from the assembled division were indistinguishable in their raucousness, and these two athletes beamed.
On the first day of school I gathered with a robust group of Middle School parents and asked them questions such as:
- When did your son or daughter first learn to tie their shoes?
- When was your son or daughter first allowed to put on their own sunblock?
- Is your son or daughter allowed to be home alone and if so, when did they start?
The wide range of answers highlighted the fact that a calendar or an age often has nothing to do with when kids will be ready to take on the next challenge or responsibility. This is true whether we are talking about applying sunscreen or tackling abstract mathematical concepts. So, while one athlete demonstrated remarkable progress toward mastering a fundamental skill, another athlete chased challenges beyond her age group. Yet both demonstrated clear personal growth and success.
At Bancroft we strive to meet kids where they are, and have fun acknowledging and celebrating their impressive range of personal achievements.
Choose groups to clone to: