Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

April 2016

Nobles Parents' Newsletter April 2016

"Spring Renewal" by Dean of Faculty Maura Sullivan

As we returned last week from spring break, I loved hearing all the amazing stories from so many students about the trips that they took with Nobles groups. What was equally amazing, however, was to hear the exact same sentiments and stories from the adults in our community.  During the two weeks of break, approximately two dozen Nobles employees gave up their vacation time to travel with students.  While I have not spoken with every chaperone, those I have talked to all agree that it was time well spent.

The pace of life at Nobles is fast. We hit the ground running in early September and it does not let up until we finish in early June. It seems as though there should be some ebbs and flows to the hectic nature of things, but we generally seem to always be operating at top speed.  Because of this, it would seem natural that when presented with a two-week vacation in the middle of March, most adults would not consider spending it with students.  However, year after year, we have many adults who plan, organize and propose trips, and many more who step up to help chaperone. An obvious benefit of these trips for adults is the opportunity to travel and immerse themselves in different cultures. That is also why these trips are so appealing to students.  But another great benefit is the opportunity to make connections with a wider variety of students, many of whom these teachers would not have crossed paths with while at school.

The relationships between adults and students have always been a hallmark of Nobles.  Between morning assembly, small class sizes, advisors, and the teacher-coach model that we employ, there are many opportunities for adults to get to know students (and vice-versa.) However, the bond that can form when you are traveling with a group is very different than that which forms in the classroom. The adults who built homes in New Orleans, biked through Cambodia, went on safari in South Africa, and visited orphanages in Romania all had something in common. They all allowed themselves to be vulnerable with a group of young people. In situations where everyone is outside their comfort level and pushing their own limits, barriers are broken down and connections are made much more quickly than they can be during our normal school routine. These relationships can be some of the most memorable of their lives for all involved.

For the chaperones, there is another advantage to traveling and spending this time with students. In an age where teenagers are often less resilient and attentive than we would like them to be, many of these trips renew our hope in this generation. To watch students help other people and to see the potential in them to affect positive change in the world is not just inspiring but truly energizing. When the cell phones are left behind, and the stress of schoolwork taken away, the true character of a young person shines through, and we are reminded of all that we love about working with this age group. It can be truly rejuvenating and a great way of spending two weeks away.

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