The Life of the Flora around Us

The Life of the Flora around Us
Maura Joyce, Head of School

Spring break began and ended during winter. Spring arrived only this week, and today I am looking at the rain coming down and thinking, here come the blooms. The time between spring break and the last day of school is short. It may be ten weeks, but it feels more like ten minutes. It is my favorite time of the school year, but not because I am eager to get to summer. Rather, I enjoy watching the campus in bloom. Yes, we have plants and trees that flower and bring color to the outdoors, but what I like to observe is the incredible array of students in bloom. Watching our garden of children and teens grow is magical and I get to see a year’s worth of growth in the last weeks of school that always brings me joy. 

My own son, Francesco, (Post Oak class of 2020) is graduating from college this May and I could not be more proud and more excited for his next chapter. His experience as a Post Oak student was filled with cycles of growth. Our children’s growth can be compared to the life of the flora around us—gathering strength in the summer and fall, resting in the winter, and blooming in the spring. As I reflect on where my son is now as he moves into the next chapter, he leaves with three things that I believe he got from his Montessori experience and from Post Oak:

Roots, a sense of self: He knows who he is. It may have taken getting lost a little along the way, but my son got to create his personality in a warm and nurturing environment. I appreciate the opportunity Post Oak students have to be part of a classroom and school community that values different types of humans and provides the space for students to be themselves. No doubt he will get lost again, but he has the skills to find his way back to his values and his foundation. 

Branches, paths of passion: This final year of college I worried that my boy was taking on too much. He has been working 15 hours per week, taking 18 credit hours in his final semester, and training jiu-jitsu for competition. I asked how he was handling it all and he said it was easy as he truly enjoyed all of it and was driven to give them all his energy. He’s following multiple passions and enjoying a wide variety of paths of activity. As a Montessori student from age 18 months through 18 years, he has been choosing his work his whole life. This allowed him to pursue what he loves and try new things—some that he embraced and some that he put aside. 

Blooms, moments of success and joy: It is impossible to count the number of times I have watched Francesco master a skill, tackle a challenge, and turn repeated tries and failures into success. I know I have felt pride and joy many times along his educational journey. At Post Oak, students are afforded the time to learn and master content, to joyfully feel success and bloom after a stint of hard work filled with trial and error. Like flowers, these wonderful moments are delicate and fragile and last a short period of time. This helps the growth cycle by directing children to the next challenge, the next goal. The fleeting beauty of flowers teaches us not to get too attached, as life keeps moving and we need to be ready for the next period of growth. 

The flowers are out and are visible on both campuses! Look carefully and you can see them all. It is a toddler steady enough on their feet to climb and go down the slide independently, a Primary student confidently reading a picture book, an Elementary student’s research project, the Middle Schooler planning M-term, and the High School student traveling far from their home. They are beautiful if you catch them! And if you miss them this time around, do not worry—they will be back.
 

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