Dear Harbor Families,
If you joined us at last week’s Harbor’s Got Talent extravaganza, you already know that our third annual talent show was much more than just a show; it was yet another opportunity for our students to grow and shine in their own unique ways. So many families and teachers commented to me, after the event, how remarkable it was that our students were able to express themselves with such confidence and enthusiasm, and that there was such a diversity of acts. In many ways, that one evening was an embodiment of our mission - to embrace the uniqueness of each child and teach them to celebrate it in themselves and each other.
Our acts that evening ranged from singing, dancing, piano, and violin to magic acts, stand-up comedy, and tae kwon do. There was a shadow puppet show and a live science experiment. A dog performing tricks and a soccer demonstration. A light saber duel, and of course, competitive balloon bopping. A group of preschool students and a kindergartener performed “Baby Shark” with gusto. And the best part? Our children got up on stage even when it was a little bit scary. When the science experiment didn’t go quite as planned, they rolled with it. When the music for the light saber duel didn't work as expected, the duel carried on. And when that balloon hit the ground instead of beating last year’s record, they picked it back up and started bopping it again until they reached an impressive 53 “bops” (the official term in competitive balloon bopping, I’m told).
Through these experiences, the students practiced and demonstrated the kinds of dispositions I wrote about in last week’s letter - resilience, adaptability, and grit. Through events like this one - and in everyday classroom learning - these are the experiences that make our students’ learning unique and special. Unique. Your Child. Our School. It’s more than just a tagline.
My daughter Emily (a JK student) and I got up on stage too. It was a meaningful moment for us as a family, and not just because it was really fun to prepare for the show and to perform together. Last year, I would never have imagined that she would want to volunteer to sing in front of a large audience - let alone belt out the words with emotion! She has always been somewhat reserved in large group settings, so when we were driving back from a spring break trip and singing songs from Frozen (I’m always Anna and she is always Elsa, no exceptions!) I was genuinely surprised that she thought signing up for the talent show was a great idea. That enthusiasm continued through our rehearsals in front of Bill and Jude, and then in front of friends, and finally at the dress rehearsal. On the night of the talent show, if she was nervous, she didn’t show it. Bill and I were so proud of her, and more importantly, she was proud of herself. Amazing! We credit her teachers and her small class for this incredible growth in confidence.
Harbor is such a gift for our kids, isn’t it?
Before I conclude, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Seth Fangboner and his team on the performance committee (Yuki Wilson, Diego Urresty, and Jasmina Hinton) for a wonderful Harbor’s Got Talent! As always, it’s our teachers who make the very real difference in our kids’ lives. Harbor definitely DOES have talent.
Head of School
The Harbor School