Lower School

Hopes and Dreams in Lower School

by Meagan Mallin, Head of Lower School
What a wonderful beginning we have shared! It has been a pleasure to welcome your children into our spaces and to have our classrooms and hallways properly buzzing with the joyful laughter and excited chatter of children.

Beginnings are important, and it is with great intention that we approach these first days of school. Warm welcomes, a calm pace, and ample opportunities to build connections have all helped to set the right tone. One cornerstone of the opening of our school year is to ask an essential question of every Lower School student: What are your hopes and dreams for the school year?
Not only does this powerful question harness all of the possibility and potential of a new year, it also sends clear messaging to our students about their role as learners. At Country School, our students own their learning, they are valued members of their classrooms whose voice matters, and they are viewed as capable young people from the earliest ages. This question of their hopes and dreams, which is a traditional part of the Responsive Classroom approach, offers an invitation to each child. By asking them to reflect upon and then share their hopes and dreams, we are inviting them to engage in their learning, to embrace challenging themselves, and to be thoughtful about what it means to bring their best selves to school each day, academically and beyond.
Before we ask our students to share their hopes and dreams, the adults in Lower School modeled this practice at our opening assembly on the first day of school. As we gathered in a round, our faculty took turns sharing their hopes and dreams for this new year. They included: My dream is that everyone will feel welcomed and know that they belong. My hope is that we laugh every day and have a lot of fun while we learn. My hope is that everyone feels included and valued for who they are. My dream is that everyone will be kinder than necessary.
This was a beautiful community moment and set the tone for all of the possibility a new school year offers us. As our students define their own hopes and dreams in the coming days, we know that as parents, you have your own aspirations for your children as this year unfolds. We look forward to our continued partnership with you, as each day of school offers a new opportunity of unlocked potential.
New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.