Blazers Bulletin September 16th 2022

Dear RBS Family,

I started my teaching career in an upper-elementary classroom where the writing curriculum began with “Grade Five Memoirs” – which I always thought was a touch funny, as – me being maybe 22 at the time, and my students somewhere around 10 – what kind of actual “memoir” could one possibly be writing at that age and stage of life??! But like a lot of things in life that reveal themselves to you in due time, there of course are wonderful memories that our children create, retain and look forward to sharing. Last week, as I was putting my fourth-grader to bed, he began talking about a ‘timeline’ assignment he was working on, with one question being “a favorite phrase you had” sparked a fun memory about my Lucas when he was around 3 or 4 years old. I laughed with him about how he used to ask questions followed immediately by, “Say yes!” – as in, “Dad, can I have a yogurt - Say Yes!” And if it was just a yogurt, and it wasn’t 3 minutes before dinner was ready, sure, it was easy to say “yup!” – not to mention it being a delightful way to see my son’s internal-narration being stated out-loud in such a cute way!

No doubt, my guy enjoyed that memory as I saw a few days later that he did indeed include it on his timeline. But it was also significant memory for “mom and dad,” as Daniela and I reflected on the importance of the when’s (and how’s) of saying “yes” to our kids, and of course, knowing when to say “no.” Those “yes’s” are so often the fun things: yes to tossing the football around after school, yes to snuggles on the couch watching a show, yes to helping with a tricky passage in a new chapter book (and a definite yes to another scoop of ice cream when mom isn’t watching!). Those “no’s” can be trickier – no to the iPad before homework is done, no to going outside to ride bikes until the bed is made, and nope bud, you’re not getting an electric bike for your birthday this year!...

Does he handle all of those “no’s” perfectly? Of course, that’s a “No!’ But I am grateful that since he was not much more than a toddler, we’ve been helping him work through disappointment, modeling calm reactions to when things don’t go the way one is hoping, and, yes, balancing the fun “yes’s” with the harder “no’s,” as our kids need both of those experiences to help them navigate the journey that they are on! We are so grateful to have the community that we do helping us in this partnership as we work to create some wonderful memoirs of their own down the road!

A few pragmatics (and yeah, these are sorta like “yes’s and no’s” :)):

  • With our arrival and pick-up plans now settled into a routine, a few reminders about the start and end of day:
    • Make sure you are pulling forward in our loop so you and the vehicles behind you can unload.
    • If you need to get out of your car (for our littlest ones to undo a car-seat, or to help the bigs get a cello out the back), I need you to park in a marked space – otherwise it stops the whole line of traffic behind you.
    • The RBS parking lot is the place to practice your ‘driver’s test’ style of driving – go slow, put down the phone, be a partner in keeping all our kids safe.
    • And if you are picking up, a reminder that I need to turn over my café to our Y after-school care program as quickly as possible – so head outside for a wonderful catching up chat/game playing etc.! I’m all for that, just start those things out on your way out – thank you!
  • One delightful aspect of this school year is being able to have much more of the ‘collective we’ out and about helping in our building – restarting “Mystery Readers,” hosting Art Appreciation, and so much more to come. Please do remember that when we have families visiting, it’s really important that those individuals head to the location they’re assigned to, and that’s it – thank you in advance for your help here!

And mostly, a HUGE thank you to everyone for a wonderful start to the school year – there are few moments more gratifying than seeing our students’ happy smiles heading into the building each morning, ready for a lot of ‘memoir-making’!

-Noam, Susan, and the whole RBS Team