I’d like to give you plenty of notice that Teacher Appreciation Week is near, from May 7 to 11. Because this event recurs each year, one might tend to take its meaning for granted. That would be a big mistake.
In April 1918, 100 years ago, my great uncle Captain Frank Nelson Lewis transferred from Fort Brown in Texas to the battlefields of France as part of the American Expeditionary Force. At age 32, with no prior military experience, he would head his own company, and fight bravely on the Western Front where he was wounded only a few weeks before the Armistice. He died later in a local hospital and was decorated for bravery, post mortem. He was interred at a cemetery nearby, but was later brought back by his family for burial at Arlington Cemetery. I would know almost none of this if it were it not for my youngest son’s decision to research his great great uncle for his IB Diploma’s Extended Essay.
In recent school years, the two weeks prior to Spring Break have provided a wealth of non-traditional learning activities for our Grades 6-10 students.
First up is the Global Issues Network (GIN) DC Conference. GIN's history extends back to its founding at the International School of Luxembourg in 2003. The DC Conference has been co-organized by WIS and School Without Walls students since 2011. This year, The British School joined the organizing team. Dozens of WIS Upper School students, along with their counterparts from schools all around Washington, DC, spent two days discussing ways to develop sustainable solutions to address critical problems facing the world.
On Sunday, February 25, over 150 heads of school in New York State posted a full-page advertisement in The New York Times, addressing the Parkland shooting and its aftermath. Their “Open Letter to the President and Our Nation’s Legislative Leaders” stated that, “the easy and virtually un-restricted availability of highly lethal, semiautomatic assault weapons and ammunition places our schools, most especially our children, in jeopardy.”
Civility might seem an old-fashioned word. It’s been around a long time. At age 16, George Washington hand-copied 110 “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation” that originated with French Jesuits in 1595. Most of these rules sound archaic, though still applicable. Consider this selection: “Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth napkin, fork, or knife; but if others do it, let it be done without a peep to them.”
Without a doubt, WIS is widely recognized for our language immersion/dual language programs. Those programs are, in fact, one of the top reasons families choose to enroll their children.