Relationships in the Transition

Recently our fourth grade and fifth grade teachers embarked upon a design thinking challenge with lower school and middle school administrators to examine the transition from fourth to fifth grade. (stay tuned for another post on that awesome hour of teamwork and discovery!)

To kick things off, we had an icebreaker in which everyone said their name, a time in their life they transitioned to something new, and what made that transition harder or easier.

I was amazed to hear the variety of responses we shared – switching to an independent school environment after teaching in public school; the first time having a ‘real job’; the first time coaching high school lacrosse at a 5A school; the transition to college after high school; moving from the North to the South; going from single to married; adjusting to having twins…

I was also amazed at the commonality of ‘what made the transition easier.’ One after another, we named friends, relationships, family, a support network, colleagues. It’s not shocking that a support network eases the transition into something new, but I was not expecting nearly every single one of us to point to that factor. It’s clear how important relationships are in building one’s confidence and comfort level when trying something new. I’m thankful to work in such an environment that fosters such relationships among colleagues, students, and families.

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One thought on “Relationships in the Transition

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  1. So interesting, yet not surprising! As a parent volunteer helping with Admissions Tours at MVPS, the one thing I hear by far most often that Upper School student tour guides communicate with such sincerity to prospective parents is…We have such wonderful, close relationships with our teachers and coaches here at MVPS. The students seem to truly value these relationships and consider it one of their favorite things about our school. And as a parent of an Upper School student, I know that this doesn’t mean that the teachers have to act as their “friends”. Some of the most respected teachers and coaches are the ones who are the toughest, hardest, or demand the most of them academically or athletically or personally. By demanding a lot of the students, the teachers show they care about them and respect them, and the kids truly appreciate that!

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