Have you read Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson? If so, you may remember how Harold’s purple crayon allows him to create adventures inspired by his imagination.
This week Japhet’s art teacher, Ms. Minard, used Harold and the Purple Crayon to inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity in Japhet’s first- and second-grade students. After enjoying the story, students used their imaginations to create their own purple crayon adventures. Each student then shared his or her drawing and story with the class.
A Primary 1 student shared, “I had no idea that so many things could come out of one crayon.”
When we show our students how far their imaginations can take them, we open their minds to unlimited possibilities.
Japhet’s faculty and staff spent the past week meeting and working together to get our building and classrooms ready for our students and families. As part of our preparations, we all joined our music teacher, Mrs. Koch, for a drum circle. In a drum circle a group of people sit in a circle and spontaneously create music using a variety of drums and other percussion instruments.
As our guide, Mrs. Koch began by explaining that each individual brought their own rhythm and harmony to the music. Each person in the circle made the sound unique. If one of us did not participate, the music would not have been the same. Through Mrs. Koch’s guidance and encouragement everyone participated joyfully, and the music we played was beautiful.
Like a drum circle, Japhet is a safe, nurturing place for each person to express themselves while simultaneously participating in a larger whole. Each individual student, family, faculty and staff member, trustee, volunteer, donor and friend, adds to the beautiful music we all make together.
Welcome to the 2012/2013 school year. We are so glad you are here!
“There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.”
~ Kurt Hahn
On June 8, 2012 we will celebrate eight Japhet graduates. Some we have shared many years with and watched them grow from small children to young men and women. Others we have shared less time with but watched them grow in different, yet significant, ways. Japhet has changed each of them, and they have changed us, too. I hope as they go on to high school and beyond they realize how much they have inside them. I hope they value themselves. I hope they stay true to themselves. I hope we have given these eight young men and women, and all children who grace this amazing school, the tools to see, and be, themselves.
“The most memorable moment in Japhet was finding out who I am, and the things I did not know I was capable of before.”
~ 2012 Japhet graduate
Please join us on June 8, 2012 at 11 am for Graduation.
Last night was the first of our evening Spring Sharing performances of Idea Man – The Musical. It was a wonderful show. As a community we celebrated our student’s expressions of joy, creativity, and courage.
Earlier in the afternoon we celebrated our participation in the Great American fundraiser with a BMX bike demonstration. The three young men who performed also expressed joy, creativity, and courage as they flew high above the ramps while our students enthusiastically cheered.
During the demonstration I was asked to participate in a trick that was far outside my comfort zone. One of the riders was going to jump his bike over my head while I sat in a lawn chair on top of the ramp. Students were encouraging and cheered me on, providing much needed support.
Please enjoy my expression of joy (surprising students and staff), creativity (in getting on and off the ramp), and courage (see picture) as a BMX rider successfully jumped his bike over my head.
At Japhet School we celebrate joy, creativity, and courage every day – in many ways.
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family,” ~ Virginia Satir
Japhet’s mission is to nurture and prepare each child for life by integrating character education with a strong academic program. Nurturing is the foundation of everything we do.
Nurture is defined as helping something or someone grow, develop, or succeed. Japhet’s goal is to help each child grow, develop, and succeed as far are they are capable of during the time we share with them. We educate the whole child, integrating both character and academics. We provide a safe place where children are appreciated, where they can make mistakes, and where they can flourish, very much like a family.
During our 2011 ISACS School Survey two-thirds of our parents commented that our nurturing environment is one of our most important strengths. Here’s what they had to say:
“A leader needs to have more than a good heart; they need to inspire the hearts of others.” ~ Simon Sinek
Each spring I have the privilege of teaching Leadership Class to our fifth through eighth grade students. This class, which is a long standing Japhet tradition, provides our older students with the opportunity to understand what leadership, based on character, really means.
Students practice leadership via role-playing, classroom discussions and activities that require teamwork and cooperation to accomplish. While my intent is to inspire them to consciously think about leading and to rise to the opportunities I provide for them to practice leadership, I find myself inspired by their insight, cooperation, and understanding of what it means to lead others.
Here are a few reflections from our Intermediate Class and Upper Class students:
“Expect to see the good in others.”
~ Japhet School’s Respect for Others definition statement
Upon hire and at the beginning of every school year, every member of Japhet’s faculty and staff commits to teaching and working in harmony with our philosophy, which defines our unique approach to helping children grow as individuals and as confident learners.
At Japhet School “seeing the good” is part of that philosophy. We see the good in our students. We see the good on their best days and we see the good on the days they are having challenges. When we truly believe in someone we give them a gift beyond measure. We remind them of their goodness. We remind them of their unlimited potential. We bring out the best in them, and as a result, the best in ourselves too.
“Any student who is receptive to instruction can experience success in proportion to his/her receptivity and application.”
~ Japhet Philosophy Statement #8
Readiness is defined as “a developmental stage at which a child has the capacity to receive instruction at a given level of difficulty or to engage in a particular activity.”
Readiness is what we do. As our mission statement says, we nurture and prepare each child for life. We get students ready for what comes next: the next test, the next grade, the next part of their life. What happens when children are ready? They are open to possibilities. They can see, hear, and think in ways that were not possible before. When a child is ready, receptive, and engaged, learning is unlimited.
How big is a blue whale? Just ask our Preschool students. They are diving deep into their study of the ocean!
A blue whale is equal to the distance from the preschool door to Mrs. Pospisil’s desk. It is also equal to the length of our school building. Students used a rope to see just how long 110 feet is, integrating both math and science to form a lasting memory.
Part of our Preschool’s dive into the ocean was the building of a yellow submarine to explore a section of the classroom that was turned into a coral reef, a field trip to an aquarium store, and a school wide presentation on scuba diving in the great lakes. Preschoolers also took part in ‘scuba diving’ in their classroom. What fun our preschoolers have learning about their world!
October’s character quality is COURAGE.
Confront your fears
DO your best
OUt do yourself
FaiRness is important
ChAllenge your mind
TEll the truth
~ 6th grade student
© Japhet School 2017