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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Boys and Shorts

For years  I’ve wondered, Why do boys  insist on wearing shorts when it's freezing outside? Just the other day, as snow and ice covered the ground, I saw a boy trudging through the snow in shorts on the way to his van.

Is there something going on internally that makes them warmer than the rest of us? Technically, yes. Males tend to have a steady and more complete distribution of body heat than women. On the other hand, they may be trying to be their own person; a show of independence from the adults in their lives.

It drives teachers and parents crazy, though it probably …

Posted by in Jen Waldeck on Tuesday January 20, 2015
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21st Century Schools

Attend a conference for educators in independent schools or pick up a magazine or journal on independent school education and it won't be long before you hear or read what you can and should do to become a 21st century school or how your students can develop 21st century skills. What does it all mean? How did these particular skills emerge from the pack? How intentional do you need to be in your focus on these topics? How do you measure whether you are succeeding or not? The answers to these questions and others can be elusive but there are certain truths, including that our students are …

Posted by in Derek Boonisar on Friday October 31, 2014
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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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An Empty Nest and the Promise of a New Adventures

As we feel the warmth of summer approaching and the excitement of graduation week, for some families this is a time that signals the end of a journey and the start of a new adventure. It is also a time when nature comes alive with vibrant colors and sounds. I can hear birds chirping during the early hours of the morning, and I know that the promise of warmer days drew them back to our beautiful forests after the long winter months.

As I was starting a new week and thinking about nature’s array of activity, one of my students during advisor time at the start of the day–Jalen …

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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In the Middle, Back to School

September brings us back to the business of school days and their accompanying mix of work and play. Boys are, at once, excited to be back among school buddies even if it does mean learning to manage the dreaded homework load that summer had made a distant memory. Middle school is a joyous time filled with energy and excitement. It is a time for challenge, triumph and even failure. As we head into the year, there are some things that I mentioned at Back to School Night that bear reiterating.

Middle schoolers are continually trying on new things as they undertake the main “job” of …

Posted by in Patricia McCarthy on Monday September 23, 2013
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An Independent Day School
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516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742

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