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The "Warren-Walker Way" by Pam Volker

 I have just received another application for a teaching position from a former student. This happens to us often, and underscores that our alumni stay connected to us in so many ways, like those who return to become our Camp Gulls’ counselors which is always so much fun. The most recent alumni applicant wrote the following in her cover letter:

“…I’ve come to realize teaching is my true calling. I credit this passion to the wonderful experiences and teachers I’ve had at various academic institutions, starting with Warren-Walker and how the “Warren-Walker Way” was instilled in me...”

Well the “Warren-Walker Way” that she is referring to is our commitment to teach our students to become respectful and responsible citizens, successful scholars, and independent thinkers, as stated in our “Schoolwide Learner Outcomes”. Notice that good citizenship comes first, and that is because we are preparing them for their future lives when we are not around to remind them how to be respectful and responsible. We “discipline” (which means “teach”) them.

There is much that has been written about how parents can do the same, the most recent popular book on this topic being How to Raise an Adult by former Stanford admissions director, Julie Lythcott-Haims. She borrows some information from another author and former WeCare speaker, Madeline Levine, to answer the question, “How as a parent do I find the line between supporting my child and rendering her helpless?” She responded by saying:

Don’t do things…

  • your kid can already do for themselves
  • your kid can almost do for themselves
  • that are based on your own ego, and then goes on to say…  

“Our job as parents is to put ourselves out of a job by raising our kids to independent adulthood where they’re capable of fending for themselves. Childhood offers innumerable opportunities to build that independence if only we’ll let it.”

Those opportunities abound at Warren-Walker School, and our “way” is our legacy of instructing, disciplining, and expecting our students to rise to accomplishing them on their own. My favorite quote in this vein is Hodding Carter’s “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings,” and that is the "Warren-Walker Way".

Posted by Pamela Volker on Monday September, 7, 2015 at 09:15PM

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