Four Visions for the New Year

A Vision for the New Year

A new school year is upon us, and it’s time to make sense of the latest information on what will make our children successful, competent and happy.  Common Core, new math, old math, whole language, phonics, high-tech, low-tech, progressive, traditional? The media, our “educational ally,” has even rolled out a new TV program called Extreme Guide to Parenting where we can find “warrior families” and “disciplined snack time” among other topics. We at SGS are committed to being the experts you expect when it comes to your children. We sift through the research and we provide you with a mission-driven experience unlike any other.

So what is OUR vision for your daughter?

At SGS, your child’s teacher’s hair is on fire?

Every teacher experiences “Ah-ha” moments. For teacher-author, Rafe Esquith, his wake-up call was literally when his hair caught on fire during a science experiment. Why was he the last one in the class to realize his head was ablaze? Because he had inadvertently reached classroom nirvana! At SGS, we have been collectively “on fire” for 14 years thanks to gifted teachers who are willing and able to transform their classrooms into a gathering of poets, mathematicians, artists, musicians, scientists, and scholars who learn how to take charge of their own learning.

Teaching Like Your Hair’s on Fire By Rafe Esquith

Girls don’t need to be sweet. Girls need grit!

On their road to gaining great competence as well as great confidence, our students make mistakes – both academic and social – setting up the development of “grit.” Failure becomes an opportunity to learn and improve, not a roadblock to achievement.  This is one of the most important life skills a student can take with her beyond the classroom.

Angela Duckworth’s research on grit has shown that students who “score” lower end up doing better in class by compensating with hard work. Duckworth has even developed a “Grit Scale” that allows students to self-report their “grittiness.”

TED Talk – Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit

We need girls’ schools now more than ever!

While it is true that the current college population is about 60% female, there is great work to be done in particular areas – particularly in the sciences and engineering – where we have actually moved backward in female representation. The lack of female role models at the university level is also apparent as tenured female professors range from just over 7% in engineering to a “high” of 22% in computer sciences.

A detailed overview of the STEM Equity Pipeline is available here »

Ask Students!

How do we know what students need from their teachers and schools?  According to one 8th grader, “The thing is, every student is engaged differently…but, that is okay. There is always a way to keep a student interested and lively, ready to embark on the journey of education. ‘What is that way?’ some teachers may ask eagerly. Now, read closely… Are you ready? That way is to ask them. Ask. Them. Get their input on how they learn. It’s just as simple as that.”

In a recent blog, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, an award-winning middle school teacher,asked this student and hundreds more, “What engages YOU?” Here is what they said.

  • Let me talk to my peers!
  • Let me work with technology!
  • I want to connect with the real world!
  • I want a teacher who loves what she/he does!
  • Get me out of my seat, moving and traveling to other places and spaces!
  • I am a human! I am a visual learner with the eyes of an eagle!
  • I want some choices.
  • Please understand your clients – we kids!
  • Mix it up!
  • Be human – Don’t forget to have a little fun yourself.

Our faculty and staff serve your children with passion and “fire” every day. We have every kind of female role model for your daughter at SGS as she develops resilience and grit – as well as an array of supportive male allies. Our families serve as passionate ambassadors who reach out to all girls in our region to make sure they know about SGS. And, yes, we will be asking our students again and again, “what do YOU think?”  From dress code to social media to what it means to be a girls’ school, our students have much to say and have shown again and again that they can be the key to the solution – not in some distant future, but right now!