Strengthening Our Roots

Eliot Anderson

There is a quote that I am fond of, “There are two things we should give our children: one is roots and the other is wings.” While I am sure that as parents, many of us have read this quote and thought how fitting it is for our own families. I like to think that it applies to our school as well.

Certainly, our mantra of preparing the children in our care for life is centred on the notion of helping our students learn the skills necessary for them to venture out into a rapidly changing world. These are their wings and we hope that they are able to stretch them and perhaps even experience a few safe “crash landings” before they leave us on their journey. Of course, the metaphor does not stop here, as we can talk about how all of our programming aims to strengthen our students’ wings in one way or another.

This week though, my thoughts turn to the importance of our roots as we pause to honour the men and women who served their country. Our school has a close tie to the First and Second World Wars, as so many of our graduates went on to fight in faraway fields. Even one of our founders, R.V. Harvey, died as a prisoner of war.

At our Middle and Senior School Remembrance Day Service on Thursday, we paused to read off all 133 names of those who left our school and died in the First and Second World Wars. It is a poignant ceremony that reminds us of our roots. It is a time of reflection for us as a school community and we hope that it provides our students with a connection to our past and gives them the understanding that strong roots allow them to stand firmly and to steadfastly hold their ground in a rapidly changing world.

So, as all schools do, we look to help our students grow strong wings. This week, we also hope that our students feel a set of strong roots beneath them.

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Eliot Anderson
Eliot Anderson is Director of the Senior School at St. Michaels University School.

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