Metro News for Everyone Who’s Not a Metro Parent
By Regina Feldman
Every month, Metro sends home the Metro News to keep families informed about the goings-on. In the past few weeks, we have been up to so much, we wanted to share with the whole Childpeace community! There was the Metro Play, The Deceiver and the Deceived, showcasing student writing talent, fantastic set design such as trees supporting the simulation of a moving car, and great acting.
Right after, Metro left for Spring Trip, a five-day biking/hiking/camping challenge along the Banks - Vernonia Bike Trail. Imagine, 40+ students on a variety of bikes, accompanied by six adults. Sara Adams drove the support vehicle with a trailer to transport all the camping gear and big backpacks (and, at times, students not feeling well and bikes that needed attention); the other five Guides, equipped with walkie-talkies, rode the trail with the students, ready to fix bike trouble and offer emotional support and encouragement, especially during a long 22-mile round-trip ride from Stub Stewart, where we camped, to Vernonia and back.
It’s difficult to describe the range of experiences when you travel with 7th and 8th graders: the hilarious ways in which students bond, for example, by creating a tent tunnel for collective singing at night; the loud complaining when we hauled all equipment in about a third of a mile to our camping spot, followed by immediate physical recovery and readiness to run and throw a frisbee; all the ways in which a meal can go wrong and yet somehow, everyone is fed and nourished for the day; the inside jokes, the bonding between adults and students; the many acts of kindness in support of one another - it all is amazing to experience, exhausting to chaperone, unique and joyful.
As if we had it planned (lol), the closing seminar for the 8th Graders on the first essay in Maria Montessori’s book Education and Peace offered students the opportunity to reflect on what peace means to them and how their Montessori education has helped them become the wonderfully complex and thoughtful young people they are today. Chara and I hosted the seminar and listened, filled with wonder and gratitude, as students spoke eloquently about the balance of freedoms and responsibilities cultivated since their early years at Childpeace and how their independence has grown and enabled them to know themselves.
That theme was also central to Graduate Speeches on June 15th at the Metro Graduation. We, the Guides, again listened with rapt attention as our adolescents recounted their Montessori journey, gave tribute to family, friends, and this school that has been like a second home for them. There was much laughter, tears, and lots of hugs after as we gathered in small groups to say goodbye.
Yet again, it has become clear that Childpeace is not just a school, but a place of belonging that births emerging identities remarkably well defined for people of 13 and 14. I catch the eye of a parent and see their appreciation for what we do every day; for how we show up for our students not just as teachers, but as whole persons who do their best to model the qualities we value the most: honesty, kindness, authenticity, compassion, intellectual curiosity, resilience, adaptability.
Graduation Day is a fine day. We are bone-tired and yet, no one wants to go home. Perhaps because we have made it through a pandemic, there’s no sweeter sound than the voices of adolescents rising with excitement and singing yet again that pop song as we sit in a large circle and sign yearbooks for two hours. So long, Graduates! You are always welcome here! And 7th Graders, we can’t wait to see you return, certainly much changed, come September for another year of Metro adventures!
Childpeace families, Metro offers intellectual rigor, lots of hands-on work, a community that holds everyone, really everyone, but most of all a space for your child to find themselves in a space so safe and true, they will flourish in any high school and beyond, having tried and felt their manifold powers. Our doors are always open for any Childpeace parent to visit and imagine just who your child will become in the fold of Metro.