Dear Walden Families,
I begin this weekly with a heavy heart. I am heartbroken by the events that took place yesterday in Parkland, FL. I don't think it serves anyone to become numb to this loss of human life wherever you land on the causes or issues, and when moments such as this happen, it often adds a new context or layer to parenting.
Since the first classroom conversation I remember having with a group of children on September 12, 2001 to the conversations that I know took place in some Walden classrooms today, I continue to believe that our primary role as parents and educators in times of crisis is to remain predictable and supportive. We follow the cues of children and respond to the questions they ask, we listen and acknowledge their feelings, we emphasize the safety of their home, classroom and community, and we provide the occasional hug, ear, or conversation as it presents itself.
We can also seek out resources to help us parent or to share with others. Here are a few that I recommend:
- Talking to Children About Tragedies (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Helping Kids After a Shooting (American School Counselor Association)
- Explaining the News to Our Kids (Common Sense Media)
- Helping Children Cope with Frightening News (Child Mind Institute)
Please know that the safety and security of your children is our top priority. I also believe our willingness to be there for others in times of struggle and to nurture empathy is the hallmark of a relational community. Our role at Walden is to support children and families and it is through these connections that moments like this are a little less difficult to navigate.
See below for some of the numerous ways that you or your child can connect at Walden in the next weeks!
Enjoy the long weekend. We look forward to welcoming you back on Tuesday, February 20.
Head of School
"Be true to your work, your word, your friend." ~Henry David Thoreau