Head of School Blog

“Chat and Nibble” as a Tool for Supporting Students

Head of School: Jill Singleton | Volume: 6 Issue: 2 | September 14, 2016
Parents and students seemed especially joyful about returning to school this year. All summer it feels like we are “feathering the nest” for our “babies” to return – only when they return, they are much more grown up than they were when we wished them a happy summer just two and a half months ago.

While every grade promises something new and exciting for the students, there are some special highlights in the Nursery-Grade 8 experience at All Saints. The first is, of course, seeing the Nursery students arriving for their first day of school.  Over the years, I have seen a significant decrease in the number of tears being shed; with wee ones attending all kinds of classes from the time they are infants, by three they are more than ready for “real school” to begin.  These days, the tears are reserved for parents, who can’t help but envisage the rapid passage of time.

Another special thing for me is seeing the First Graders make their way in the “Big School.” While some look nervous when they come for Open Classroom day, within minutes of meeting their teachers and seeing their classroom and friends, the nervousness fades like the amount of sunlight we enjoy in the final days of summer.

Fifth Graders getting their lockers for the first time is a treasured milestone in one’s All Saints career.  This long-awaited tradition begins with identifying your personal piece of real estate at school by finding your locker by the magnet with your own name on it.  This year I was tickled to learn about the newest accessories in the locker world – in addition to shelves, mirrors, pencil holders and picture frames, some student now even have chandeliers and wallpaper!

Finally, perhaps my favorite highlight of all is welcoming the Eighth Graders to their “Chat and Nibble” class.  I have the pleasure of teaching this class with Ms. O’Kane, our Director of Admissions and High School Placement. After providing the students with a healthy snack, we engage in “kitchen table” style discussion about the high school application process.  This morning we discussed the importance of taking over the driver’s seat in the process, writing thank you notes after tours, and remembering that even getting to school on time  is something  which admissions directors notice.

From beginning to end, All Saints provides students with important and exciting footholds to guide the path from toddler to teen.  I can’t imagine a more meaningful way to help students develop the academic, social and leadership skills that will carry them – and us – into a better future.

Questions? Comments?  Ideas?  I’d love to hear them!  Email me: jsingleton@allsaintsdayschool.org