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An incredible week of experiential learning.

Dear Middle School Families,

I write to you after an incredible week of experiential learning for our middle students that reminded me of how fortunate our kids are to grow up at Gordon School. 

Last week, I joined the trip to Alton Jones, and witnessed our newest middle schoolers playing and learning together. This week, I spent an afternoon at Farm School with our eighth graders before two nights with the sixth grade at Sargent Camp in New Hampshire. (Sadly, I did not make it to the Berkshires with the seventh grade. Thus, I fell short of the overnight trip quadfecta.) While I hope you followed the photos on Instagram, the pictures couldn’t fully capture the joyful learning that happened for our kids across New England. I wanted to share my three big takeaways from these overnight trips with you:

  1. In a world that is constantly trying to speed up childhood, these experiential learning trips allow Gordon students to slow down and be children. Eighth graders giggling as they milk a cow for the first time, and sixth graders unabashedly belting out songs about Oreo cookies* are affirmations about how we do childhood right at Gordon School. 
  2. These overnight trips are important shared experiences for an entire class. They are about making memories together. Every seventh grader won’t necessarily be in the fall play or on the soccer team, but they all went to Camp Becket together. This is how a full class builds trust in one another for the year ahead. 
  3. You will not find a more dedicated middle school faculty anywhere. Seventeen different teachers worked together to chaperone these four trips. Many faculty members have children of their own, and it isn’t always easy for them to be away from home. Gordon’s middle school teachers attacked these trips with relentless enthusiasm. Climbing mountains? Canoeing? Doing silly wake-up dances at 6:30am and telling sillier stories at 9:30pm? All in good day’s work for Gordon teachers. 

This is just the beginning of experiential learning in Gordon’s middle school this year.  On Monday and Tuesday, students can audition for the fall play. This coming Friday, the eighth graders will start their leadership councils where they begin to make the yearbook, shape and lead No Fear Fridays, run athletic assemblies, volunteer in early childhood classrooms, and much more. On Friday, October 12th, the seventh graders will make up for last year’s trip and head to New York City to visit the United Nations, the American Museum of Natural History, and yes, Shake Shack. 

I look forward to seeing you at Middle School Overview Night on Monday, September 24th where we can continue to look ahead to all the experiences that await our children this year. 

Gabe Burnstein 
Middle School Director