Manifestos and Mission Statements

November 9, 2015

I know that #tbt is for Thursdays, but  I’ll never post on Thursday (unless I am really late in posting), thus I’ll never get to #tbt on the Glog. But I am going to anyway. So today, I’ll do a bit of a #sias (See It Again Sunday.) (That isn’t really a thing… yet!) (And of course there is the minor issue that I am wrapping this up on Monday… so it is like #sias(aom) (See It Again Sunday (Actually On Monday)).) (I think that is the correct number of closing parenthesis.)


A few weeks ago, just before Fall Family Weekend, Gould had College Awareness Day. Each class spent time looking forward and thinking about the future. 12th graders prepared the college applications, worked on essays, and practiced interviews. 11th graders got the opportunity to take the PSAT. 10th graders spent some time starting to prepare resumes and thinking about their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, 9th graders started the day on a design challenge in groups, and then, after debriefing  how the group worked together, wrote 6(ish) word manifestos about their plans for their next four years at Gould.

We started the manifesto process looking at the Holstee Manifesto (a video of the manifesto is linked). After we spent looking at this each group, they composed their own manifestos. We shared with the group and then I took their words and did a quick typography video. (Sorry about the sound quality, I did a quick recording on my computer.) Here is what the ninth graders look forward to in the next four years:

Mission Statements:

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to attend a leadership workshop of members of ISANNE (Independent School Association of Northern New England). Part of the week long seminar involved writing a person mission statement. I’ll share some of what I wrote now and save some for a later post (when I don’t have anything else to talk about…)

      I live.  

            I find the moment that I am in and look to be there rather than in my past or in my future. 

      I ask. 

            I take the time to find out the information that I want, be it to make a decision or to check in with a person. 

      I trust.

            I see the best in people and believe that they are doing what they see as the best thing possible. 

            I believe that I am doing the best thing possible in my actions. 

      I fail. 

            I never quite achieve my aspirations as listed above. BUT, I aim to get up each time I miss, glean what I can from my failure, let go of it, and try again. 

These are four of the eleven aspirations that I listed in my personal mission statement. Live, Ask, Trust, Fail. I believe these four aspirations also are all core principles of education. I want my students to live and be in the moment. To ask and engage in the information discovery process. To trust and believe in others and their own actions. To fail, to accept that, learn from it, and to try again and move on.  If I can teach my students to do one of these things I believe I am successful. (Although,  to my students who are coming up on exam week: You also need to know the material for your exams… although these four verbs are important for life, the material from class is important for the two hours of your test.)

This week, in honor of the 9th grade manifestos and their first set of high school exams, I am going to talk about some 9th graders:

freshman square


This is study hall in Ordway Monday night. The ninth graders are hard at work. Exams are tough. Study, ninth graders, study.


maddie square

This is Maddie. She is a day student. Here is is on Sunday afternoon studying for her exam. She is rereading Tsotsi for English. Annotate, Maddie, annotate.


keisuke square

This is Keisuke. Keisuke is from Japan. Keisuke likes to mountain bike. He like geometry. On Sunday at study hall, he took the opportunity to ask on of his teachers some questions. Ask, Keisuke, ask.

sophie square

This is Sophie. Sophie likes to ski and can’t wait for snow. But Sophie also studies hard. On Wednesday, Sophie is giving her first tour. She is going to be a great ambassador for Gould. Smile, Sophie, smile.


Leave a Reply