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La Jolla, California

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Posted on Dec 11, 2014

Thanksgiving Gratitude

As head of school at Gillispie, I am grateful for our teachers, who work with the children to bring out their best selves as citizens and students. I won’t mention the teachers by name, but instead note the variety of experiences they provide that encourage bravery, empathy, and a sense of community.

Encouraging bravery: Speaking in front of an audience requires courage. With great aplomb, third graders performed Harvest Feast of 1621 as a readers’ theater for their parents and at student assemblies. Our fifth graders are diligently rehearsing to get the comedic timing down for tomorrow’s debut of Snew White. Yesterday, after weeks of research, second graders collaborated with partners to share with parents what they had learned about their chosen European countries.

Encouraging empathy: Recently, fourth graders led the way to filling six brimming bins of non-perishables and visited the Food Bank for a hands-on opportunity to be community contributors. This week preschoolers made tie-dye shirts for Rady’s Children Hospital to lift the patients’ spirits, while kindergarteners collected food items for Children with a Vision, an orphanage in Tijuana.

Encouraging community: Today, prekindergarten families enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast with a menu and decorations designed by the children. Popular items: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac & cheese pie, pizza, broccoli, and gluten-free chocolate cake! These happenings took place within the last two weeks and show Gillispie at its best. I am thankful for our teachers who are conduits for the learning and understanding that develop in our children.

Alison Fleming Head of School

P.S. The first graders provided instructions on making a turkey. No need to Google a recipe with great advice like this: “I bake the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. First I put the stuffing in and put the salad in. Then I dress the turkey with chocolate chips. I make it nice and squishy. Lastly, I put the turkey in the oven. It will cook for a while like 15 minutes.” (edited for spelling)
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