It’s easy for a parent (or a student, for that matter) to identify all the things that we could have done differently when it comes to raising our children. But because Sterne is a strengths-based model, let’s take this opportunity to look at what Sterne parents get right when it comes to understanding their children’s needs.
1. Sterne parents practice “authentic parenting”
Sterne parents know that their children are unique and can contribute to the world in their own way. Your child is not merely an extension of yourself; your child is an individual, and because this is true, your sons and daughters only need validation, power, and freedom to forge their own path. And that path may look very different from your own.
2. Sterne parents remember what’s really important
When I was pregnant, every mom or future mom asked me where I was planning to enroll my son for preschool. When he was born, it was, “Can he walk yet? Can he talk? Can he do calculus? My [son or daughter] is way ahead of the milestones! Where’s your son?” Today, my fun-loving and boisterous 3-year old is walking, talking (probably too much), and is attending a really nice preschool in the Sterne building. It’s not a Harvard prep school, and he’s not doing calculus. He’s doing just fine.
It’s really easy to fall into competitive parenting, but so often here at Sterne, we encounter parents who have made a conscious effort and decision to disengage from that Bay Area paradigm. They want a good, fulfilling life for their kids; they want to help them realize their potential and manifest their own form of greatness. They want happy kids who will grow into happy adults. It’s simple, yet so, so complicated sometimes.
3. Sterne parents find sanctuary and community here
So often, our parents and students come here with Hero Journey stories--a winding tale of academic challenges, difficult teachers, battles with bureaucracy, and lots of dragons. We are proud of the fact that our families become one family here. Thank you for sharing your stories, exchanging resources and ideas, and supporting one another in an environment that strives to provide the best possible educational experience for your children.
4. Sterne parents can feed, clothe, and shelter their children
I took my first teaching job in an underserved elementary school in my hometown. As a K-4th grade Reading Specialist, I was faced with the harsh reality that many of my students came to school hungry because their last meal had been the free school lunch the day before. In wintertime, when it was 20 degrees outside, they didn’t have coats. They rotated clothes with their siblings, they received sponge baths from the school nurse because they were so dirty, they needed my help because reading was the last thing on these families’ minds when they were struggling to feed and shelter their children.
There’s rarely a day that goes by here at Sterne that I don’t think about those kids. And rarely a day goes by when I’m not reminded of how fortunate we all are to be able to feed, clothe, and shelter our children. The playing field is already more level when your belly is full. For this, we are grateful.
5 Sterne parents (and students) are divergent thinkers
Quality education is never a “one size fits all” model, and here at Sterne, we are continually asking ourselves the question, “What should school be?” (Answer: It should be engaging, meaningful, creative, innovative, inspiring, relevant, and of course, fun!) Because you understand that different kinds of minds require a different model for education, you give us the freedom and agency to be truly innovative in our approach to educate your whole child. Thank you for trusting us with your child’s education; thank you for going on this journey with us.
Submitted by: Melissa Myers, Associate Head of School