“What will you take from your time at SAA?”
“What will you take from your time at SAA?”
The bell rings and boys pour into the refectory. The smell of freshly prepared food welcomes them, calling their names from the old, round dining tables. Famished, they stand behind the chairs eager for permission to be seated, to dig in, and discuss the morning.
I reassured my son that it was absolutely normal to be feeling down and missing his peers. I shared with him that his teachers were all also missing school and their students. And then, I thought about all the things I was so deeply missing about being at school.
For so many of us, the afternoon schedules were packed. Like NASCAR drivers lined up for the start of a race, once 3:30 hit, we revved our engines and off we went into never-ending laps--pick-up, drop-off, repeat.
All of this got me wondering: How important are friendships for our children? And, how on this pandemic-ridden-Earth are we going to cultivate them during this time of confinement?
We are all grieving life as we knew it a month ago. Every week, some wait to hear that school will resume and things will go back to the way they were. While others accept the “new normal,” ...
So…how are we going to get through it? In the words of Elsa, (we have watched both Frozen 1 and 2 at my house more times than I care to admit in the last week), “Let it go.”
Is there anything of our regular routine that is still in place? Not much. Having each other and our families is about all that remains constant. Most everything else feels disrupted for the moment.
News about the COVID-19 pandemic has been flooding our inboxes, our social media feeds, and our dinner table conversations for weeks. Then we learn Spring Break has been extended and that our children will be home for three weeks – Wait, WHAT?! Online school?
The seventh century emperor and polyglot, Charlemagne, famously said, "To have another language is to possess a second soul."
At San Antonio Academy, lunchtime routines are much like that of an Italian Sunday dinner or a cowboy’s campfire. Boys of various grade-levels are gathered around together in the cafeteria to share good food and great friendships. This family style tradition is what makes SAA’s dining experience so unique.
The day I found myself in a round pen with the horse, I realized I didn’t need to do anything for someone in order to be connected. In other words, out of sight did not mean out of mind. This “aha” moment highlighted that my significance was not based on what I could do for someone, but instead, was more about who I was as a person.
From learning sportsmanship in P.E. and athletics, to identifying composers and their compositions in music, to experimenting with the color wheel in art and tackling a new language in Spanish, the fine arts and physical parts of our boys bodies and brains are strengthened on a daily basis.
This summer, I stumbled across John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister, and I immediately knew I wanted to share it with my students. This beautifully illustrated book, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, tells the story of a young Tolkien growing up in Sarehole, England, in the early 1900s.
At the heart of the Cardboard Challenge is an opportunity for children to build whatever they can dream up using cardboard, recycled materials, imagination, and creativity. The Challenge is a fun, easy- to-organize learning experience that fosters creativity and teaches necessary skills for success in life.
Just ask any 4th grader and he can tell you all about bats. While learning about animals and their unique adaptations, each year, fourth graders research a bat species and write a short report in addition to creating a model of their bat. Every November you can see their “bat cave” hanging from the Taylor Hall front entryway.
One of the most beloved, time-honored traditions here at SAA is the first grade Tour de L’Academy Bike Race, a unique experience inspired by the Tour de’ France that has impacted well-over 600 young Academy boys since its inception in 1989.
It is 9:00 am and the Pre-K cottage comes to life. Boys boisterously pour in to the classroom from P.E. ready and eager to start their day. The hallway fills as boys begin to complete their morning tasks of hanging up backpacks and emptying folders.
For a century, the Military Program has provided Academy boys an outlet for leadership opportunities. The program’s goals, developmentally appropriate for 3rd through 8th grade, are based on our school’s traditions and Social Emotional Learning (SEL)* competencies.
Drive past the SAA primary playground on any given weekday afternoon, and you’ll be sure to find a group of boys actively playing one of their favorite games―KICKBALL! To boys, it’s just a fun way to compete with friends. But, to teachers...it’s an opportunity to put social/emotional learning into practice.
Daniel Goleman coined the phrase “emotional Intelligence” in 1995 with his groundbreaking book Emotional Intelligence – Why It Can Matter More than IQ.
Whether you are entering Pre-K or 8th grade, starting the school year requires a period of adjustment that often takes us by surprise.
Out front of SAA stands an oak tree. I don’t know its age, but I dare say it’s been here as long as the school has existed, perhaps longer. The roots of this aged tree run deep.
When I learned that SAA’s counselor, Theresa Moore, was using an equine assisted approach to teaching social/emotional skills, I admit I was a bit apprehensive.
One of my most favorite memories as a young child was walking to the neighborhood park with friends on cool, summer days. (Those days actually do exist in Pennsylvania where I grew up!)