The Rhythm of the School Year: Celebration of Learning
Next week, Celebration of Learning begins at Trinity. I wanted to take some time to share why it matters, and how it fits into the Trinity academic year. In my case, the school year is all I’ve ever known. I started teaching the year I graduated from college – so my life has been lived from September to June. Enjoy summer and repeat.
There is a rhythm to the school year. As it approaches, a reel starts playing in my mind. The reel contains images of class configurations, of math lessons, of student writing, of the social and emotional well-being of individual students, and of new students and families. I imagine these images – as well as dozens of others – and slowly, they become realized. The reel will play until the middle of June, until the year is over. I feel this rhythm acutely.
- The rhythm of the fall. August is filled with optimism, new beginnings, and Back to School nights. Before we know it, there are Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving on the horizon.
- The rhythm of the holidays. The onset of the holiday season is often a blur with festive celebration and Advent, and Winter Break brings a renewal of energy.
- The rhythm of the new year. We focus on enrollment, admissions, and matruction. Routines and patterns in classrooms are set, progress is marked and we jump into Spring Break.
- The rhythm of the spring. There are a myriad of end-of-school events, and we all stand proud and thoughtful at Graduation.
And finally, the rhythm of the culmination – of thoughtful celebration.
As the rhythm dictates, we now celebrate. For those that may not know, Trinity’s Celebration of Learning event provides a visual summary of the school year. Students present themselves as learners and the Trinity community forms an authentic and invested audience, providing real time appreciation for their work. Parents might observe short videos, entire towns built from recycled materials, Writers Workshop published books, innovative math games, and so much more. Witnessing students talk about and exhibit their work attests to the development and increased confidence of the student voice. This is a defining aspect of a Trinity education.
I’m inspired and humbled by events such as this. I’m reminded that as the reel plays, as the rhythm of the school year continues, there are thousands of exchanges between Trinity students and teachers. Some are routine, some are impactful, some are profound or complex. We can never lose sight of the fact that our students are learning, and that their brains are developing. The rhythm of the school year is characterized by growth and transformation. Celebration of Learning gives us access to this transformation – please join us.