“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” “One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.” … The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”
A couple weeks ago Michelle Del Duco, mother of Sal, was coming in from Casa’s garden with a handful of potatoes. I was excited to see the fruits of the Casa garden. I shared that I love potatoes and that I grow them on my farm in Maine. This experience brought back fond family memories of my Dad gardening. Michelle quickly offered “here take the potatoes home,” and I took them home and enjoyed them in a stir fry.
Just for the fun of it, I decided to look up the symbolic meaning of potatoes. Happiness is the central theme. According to Wikipedia, potatoes bring happiness. With this story as a backdrop, I wanted to say to all of you that I am happy to be here. Casa is a good place. I am thrilled to meet all of you and your lovely children. Happiness is a powerful word and as Maria Montessori reminds us “One test of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”
I view Casa as my new home. I love the beautiful weather and I am appreciative of the smiling faces and kind people. Having led schools around the world, I find Casa to be exciting and welcoming.
I have set up my “standing desk” in the multipurpose room in Latimer. It is true that research suggests that standing is healthier than sitting. Living in an open space also connects me to the children’s world. Frank Boyden, the famed Deerfield Academy Headmaster kept his desk in the hallway to keep the pulse of the school. The central location allows me to experience the laughter and joy of your children as they walk by. I will also keep office space with Wanda in Campbell Community Center (D40).
You will hear me say that a strong community is one where everyone is known, needed, cared for, and has an authentic opportunity to shape their environment. This is true for children and adults. As your interim head of school, I will strive to create such community.
I do miss my New England family and farm in Maine. But I also have to say the Casa community brings me happiness. Please drop by to say hello.
Dr. Jeff Beedy