Our Wildwood, Winter 2017, Volume 40

a l l s c h o o l f e a t u r e

by Melinda Tsapatsaris, ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL


Parent education at Wildwood serves as an essential time to pause, reflect, and connect: connect to who we are as parents, connect to what is happening at Wildwood, and finally connect to fellow parents. These parent education connections are diverse and varied—as diverse and varied as the young people we guide . That is what I wrote in the original version of the article you’re reading now. Following this perfectly fine (maybe even “eh”) statement was a series of thoughts, reflections, and quotes—all lovely and good and true. But as I reread what I’d written, I kept asking myself: SO WHAT? It’s a question that English teachers and journalism professors ask their students to help them get to the heart of what they’re writing. When I taught high school writing and literature, I’d ask my students this, too. What is the “so what” of parent education at Wildwood? I asked myself while stuck in traffic, stirring broccoli soup at dinnertime, lying in Shavasana as my yoga instructor told me not to think about anything but breathing. The problem wasn’t a lack of so whats; there were too many of them, and this article needed just one. I was sitting with a group of parents at an actual parent education event, a book group on Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed, when, one day past the deadline for this article, I realized what I needed to do—ask for help. I needed to “think out loud” with insiders—the parents I was trying to write about. Conveniently sitting to my left were two parent education aficionados, middle and upper school parents Erin Rottman and Jaclyn Lieber who each happen to have master’s in Journalism. Ah, the universe, I chuckled to myself. We got to talking and came to the agreement that while all levels of connection (parent to self, parent to content, and parent to parent) are essential, one emerges as the most important, the most essential, and the most necessary to hold up: the connection that happens between and among parents.

Our Wildwood /Winter 2017 2/3

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