Beginner's Guide to Gordon
for the families of students who will begin at Gordon in September
Dear parents of new students,
We are a group of parents on the Education Committee, a sub-committee of the Board of Trustees. We are honored to share these thoughts with all of you, whom we hope to welcome to Gordon soon as new friends and community members.
Gordon has long been a pioneer of inclusive education, encouraging students to view the world from multiple perspectives in an intentionally diverse classroom setting, and Gordon really does practice what it preaches. Gordon creates a palpable environment of understanding and trust, one where each individual truly is seen and valued. As parents, we love witnessing the ways that these principles circulate throughout the various places and times of our children’s lives at Gordon – from classroom to playground, from field to field house to field trip, from Early Childhood to Middle School and beyond.
In Nursery, curious three-year-olds are already beginning to discover that the world is filled with compelling questions and perspectives. Those same children eventually become our graduating eighth graders, who are poised with self-awareness and compassion, who are able to truly honor others, and who want nothing more than to tackle complex and controversial issues with thought, care, and a sense of justice. They move out of Gordon and into the world thinking critically about what they see, able to consider different perspectives, and creatively act on their ideas, asking questions and building community all the while.
This kind of encouraging energy is evident in Gordon's faculty as well. Our children’s educators are lifelong learners, researchers, and innovators, and it is clear that Gordon sees, values and nurtures them, supporting their personal and professional development extensively. And, believe us, this investment really shows – in their passion for their craft, in their desire to collaborate, and, of course, in our children’s enthusiasm about them!
Gordon is imbued throughout with a sense that one can be oneself and that, by doing so, one will find a place within the community and embrace challenging academics with confidence. The kind of risk-taking that authentic discovery entails is always framed at Gordon by a sense of safety, intention, acceptance, and compassionate accountability.
Our children follow their own paths but always in respectful accord with their community. They are asked from a young age to commit to supporting each other through challenging discussions, active reflections, and intentional dialogue. They learn quickly to comfortably challenge their own patterns of thinking and to respect the lived experience of different people. Because they receive such remarkable support from both their peers and from Gordon’s faculty, staff, and leadership, they rise to this challenge. From time to time, they even teach their parents whole new ways of thinking about and understanding the world.
Gordon produces excellent students with a strong work ethic and a foundation that allows them to go anywhere after Gordon and succeed. The admission office can give you plenty of evidence and examples to support this. Even more importantly to us as parents, Gordon also produces well-rounded human beings, young people with an idealistic spirit, a deep sense of wonder and curiosity, and a real sense that living one’s life and sharing responsibility for the world with others can be and should be a joyous kind of work. We hope that you and your children will join ours in this exceptional learning environment.
Michael Loren Siegel, Sarah Blythe, Chris Kahler, TC Rogers, Sarah Bowman, Carly Keehn-Schupp, Jennifer Sherer, Thomas Brendler, Nick Longo, and Gloria Oyelese with Dr. Kim Ridley and Maryanne Pieri
The parents of Gordon's Education Committee, spring 2018