Have you ever had the experience of seeing your everyday life from an entirely new, fresh perspective? What was mundane, hardly registering on the sensory tapestry, suddenly comes vividly back to life in rainbow technicolor.

I’m so grateful for these moments!

I’ve just returned to my desk after a brief visit to Primary to serve as a mentor for a fifth grade student working on her Footprints project. Footprints is a new program at Green School, weaving the spirit and practice of our capstone Green Stone (HS) and Quest (MS) experiences into the fabric of Primary. Grade 5 students will leave behind their Footprints as they progress into Middle School.

As one who has been a part of the Green School community since the school began in 2008, it’s not every day that I see Green School with fresh eyes. Today’s mentoring sessions was a special gift.

As I trekked down the sloping campus from Heart of School to Primary, I received helpful tips from faculty and staff along the way. I hadn’t visited the new grade 5 classrooms since their completion at the beginning of 2015-2016. These two- and three-tier bamboo structures had sprung to life since my previous visit! They were filled with students exploring, learning, coloring, singing, and smiling. As I made my way down the hill, my sense of awe at our beautiful campus and community was renewed….. Again.

While sitting with my grade 5 mentee student, I was blown away as she explained to me her Footprints project and shared what she had learned so far. She had many hand-written notes and colorful drawings to share, as well as a strong breadth of research. She shared a poem she had written on her topic. She was already clear on her end goal and on her next steps. She pulled out her own timeline, which represented due dates and intermediary goals in pictorial fashion, with a colorful winding path connecting her goals and dates. The circuitous route to the culmination of her Footprints project looked as much like a board game as a calendar.

My mentee was articulate, organized, confident and personable. She exemplified one of the signature traits that we’ve noted over the years in our graduates – her confidence and poise in speaking with adults. This particular student has been at Green School since 2008.

As the business of conducting our ‘interview’ wrapped up, my mentee student inquired about the health of my daughter (who had been unwell recently) as well as my plans for the upcoming school break. This charmingly precocious student listened attentively, then shared a bit about her plans for the school break before we bid each other adieu until next week.

From the behavior of the students to the beauty of our surroundings, I couldn’t help feeling amazed – and filled with gratitude – once again. My family has already been a part of Green School much longer than we initially anticipated. I suppose we’ll be here a bit longer still…

Ibu Melinda Chickering

High School Career & University Counselor


Photo credit: Marc Romanelli

Photo credit: Marc Romanelli