With everything that has happened since COVID-19, I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to reclaim the number 19.
Traditionally, at the start of the year, we gather as a boarding community in the front of the school for a Boarding Photo – over the last few years, I have tried to be creative: we have made the shape of a heart, we spelt out the letters HZG and even did a hashtag. This year, we did two, one being a number. I hadn’t explained to the children (or staff) the reasoning behind the number…and it wasn’t long before a number of children pointed out, (in that voice that we parents know only too well), “Mr Schreiber, it’s 2020 not 2019!”.
My thinking was this: let’s reclaim the number 19 and besides, I knew that I could list (at least) 19 points that make me continue to believe in the benefits of boarding for the children, their families as well as the adults involved. So here goes…and if you mention this to your children, let them that know Mr Schreiber wasn’t going mad after all!
Best of both worlds: school, home, fun, friends – all rolled into one
Opportunities: games, activities, sport, free time, supervised prep
Acceptance: the children learn to accept and be tolerant of others
Relationships: the children forge life-long friendships
Dining room: we enjoy fellowship and company, three times a day, at a table together
Imagination: children are encouraged to be children – to explore, imagine and dream
Neat: children learn to make their own beds, change their bedding and be neat and tidy
Guinea pigs: who doesn’t like cuddling a guinea pig, a dog or a chicken?
@: communication from the school and the children is current, uplifting and informative
Houses: three families run the Houses as if they are extensions of their own families
Attitude: boarding breeds a “can do” attitude, with a healthy touch of confidence and courage
Zealous: our children have a real zeal for life and for experiencing something new
Love: love abounds and is seen and felt, in all that we do
Eating: the children are fed very well here!
Growth: the children learn so much about themselves and others
Respect: we encourage respect for others and themselves
Openness: the children become more engaging and open to sharing ideas and their time
Very cool children: boarding children are incredible children. It is at this point that I will take the liberty to divulge…
Boarding offers children the opportunity to be independent, tolerant of others, confident and resilient. Boarders are tolerant of others. They share their lives with children and staff from all around the world and happily share their personal space with others, even when they are over-tired. They negotiate life with an ease that is beyond their years.
Empathy: the children never fail to surprise us by the kind way that they support each other
I hope you look at the number 19 differently. I do. I, like many of us, have made a conscious decision to count my blessings every day, especially in these times that face us now. You have made the right decision…your children are flourishing @ HAZLEGROVE BOARDING.