An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Ted Chen, Middle School assistant director

Before Thanksgiving, Chen delivered a "Ted talk" to students, faculty, and staff at the Middle School community meeting.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year because it's a time when people think about what they are grateful and thankful for in their lives. This practice is incredibly important; the ability to practice gratitude can shift one's mindset and perspective, and daily practice is even more effective. So, students were asked to pause and reflect upon what they were grateful for in their lives.

One of the things I am grateful for is that we are a school that values being a good person. You are a good person by being considerate of others, being inclusive, and acting with integrity. We set the bar high, and ask community members to rise to it, and this happens on a daily basis. Outside of school, on social media and television, students will see a lot of mixed messages as well as actions and behaviors that do not necessarily align with being considerate, inclusive, and acting with integrity. Here at school, we do not tolerate any racism, sexism, or discrimination based upon religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other identity characteristic. I want to encourage everyone, that no matter what messages exist outside of school, to strive to meet our expectations and hold ourselves to the standards of consideration, inclusion and integrity. Continuing to do so will make our community an even better place.

I want to close with a poem, "Room" by Brad Montague.

Be grateful, rise up to the expectations, and thank you for listening.