Faculty Blog

“It was the night before secondary school notifications and all through the house, the creatures were stirring, even the mouse…”

And so it is once again the eve of a tremendously anxious next few days as secondary school notifications come to our eighth and ninth grade families.  I wish I could assure you that all will work out if you just keep visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads as you go to sleep the next couple of nights.  But that is unlikely to convince you that your sons and you will all be fine as you hear from schools.

I was recently reminded of the importance of keeping perspective as parents as our children navigate their school careers.  I attended the retirement party of Jerry’…

Posted by in Lorraine Ward on Thursday March 12, 2015
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A Tribute to Elise Mott, 20 Years at Fenn

*Each year, the faculty gathers to honor those who have served for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30+ years at Fenn. Here is one exerpt from that evening written and delivered by Lorraine Ward. 

It’s not hard to recall all the good things about Elise Mott as a colleague, friend, educator, mother, and citizen.  If I had to describe her in two words, they would be “gracious goodness.”  Elise does everything with a commitment to the good—the good of her students, the good of the larger world outside of Fenn, the good of the natural world, the good of her family and …

Posted by in Lorraine Ward, Elise Mott on Thursday February 12, 2015
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The Beginning of a New Year

Unlike the exuberant celebrators of New Year’s Eve, I am often in the throes of taking stock at the start of the new year: What could I have done better in my life, what do I continue to leave unsaid and undone, what am I most afraid of leaving behind in my life? (A lot of things truthfully). These feelings are the inevitable and unenviable product of an over determined super ego (thanks, Ma and Dad) and living eight years with the vagaries of incurable, Stage 4 breast cancer. You’d think my longevity in the face of my cancer would make me see life in the most positive of terms. …

Posted by in Lorraine Ward on Thursday January 8, 2015
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Treasuring the Imperfect Boys Before Us

Last Friday afternoon most of the ninth graders were able to come over for our weekly get-together at the house. The fact that I said “were able to” indicates just how often many of them cannot come because of sports commitments, tutoring, and other academic and extracurricular commitments.  Several of them rued the reality of not being able to take the time out to be here eating cookies and Doritos and relaxing with their classmates even once a week. Life is very busy for them.

I usually start our time together sitting in a circle and asking them to tell me what have been …

Riding the Wave of Our Children’s Transitions

You would think it gets easier each year—sending off children to summer camp and the new school year, especially when they are returning to familiar settings. I am struck by how hard transitions are for all of us and yet how often we ask children to make them in the course of a day, a week, a year. And, particularly with boys, I sometimes think that we forget how vulnerable they can be as they jump into new situations and how often they hold themselves up to standards of toughness that deep in our hearts we know are quite difficult for them to uphold as they take on new challenges. It&…

Posted by in Lorraine Ward on Tuesday September 9, 2014
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Calling All Mothers

Are you one of those mothers like me who is often disappointed by Mother’s Day—a ruse to get our families to feel guilty about and acknowledge all the things we do behind the  scenes to make our children’s lives and family life thrive?  Do you sometimes sit quietly at the end of a wonderful Mother’s Day thinking about the beautiful cards and the dinner or lunch out or the breakfast served in bed and in a  brief moment of resignation think, “And tomorrow the lacrosse sticks will once again be thrown across the entry hall, the Legos will  be …

Posted by in Lorraine Ward on Wednesday July 30, 2014
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The Love of a Son

How often have I pondered the question about how a perfectionist “good girl” like me could have ended up with three spirited, independent-minded sons and no daughters?  How often have I asked out loud—sometimes in sheer frustration, sometimes in absolute wonder—how I, of all people, ended up with three boys who rarely saw the importance of the attention to detail about the upkeep of the house, of their homework, of remembering that it was trash or recycling day, of how much time it would take to make out college applications and what the due dates were, and at 11:…

Allowing Boys Tenderness

I am always grateful for the Friday afternoon sessions at my home with the senior class at Fenn—our Pen to Paper Club.  Started three years ago by a member of the Class of 2011 to answer a longing to do something different in the afternoon, we set up a voluntary ninth grade club to read poetry and to write and draw in response to it.  My offer was guidance and a place to gather away from the school with appealing food and drinks: think salt and sugar.

It quickly became clear that all of the ninth graders wanted to be part of the club and that while poetry was the supposed main…

Posted by in Lorraine Ward on Sunday November 10, 2013
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An Independent Day School
for Boys Grades 4-9

516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742

Tel: (978) 369-5800 Email:  info@fenn.org

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