Reading Beyond the Files
Each year we are faced with the extraordinary responsibility of selecting and admitting new students into our community. We meet them at Open House and on visit days, we spend time interviewing them with their families, and we invest countless hours into reviewing their applications. Over and over again, we “read” the applicants to see if they are a good fit for us just as they are reading us to see if MICDS is where they belong. And how do we know if our instincts are correct? How do we know if they have revealed themselves authentically through the process? Of course there are data points and report cards and recommendations that give us a preview. But we also acknowledge that there is always going to be much more to the story.
The true joy (and turmoil at times) then follows as they become part of the Rams family. We work to form community and class identity. Our students grow up, learn their place in the world, and decide who they want to be. They decide how they want others to read them and they shape that story with their clothes, their haircuts, their laptop stickers, their profile pictures, their music playlists. Do they want to be the moody teen who only eats dessert at lunch? Do they want to be the agent for change when they think the school rules are unfair? Do they want to be the star athlete who devotes all their free time to practice so they can help bring home the next state championship? Each student is a rough draft in progress, a chaotic nebula trying to become the shining star. And we, the adults, cautiously and optimistically assume our place in reading and supporting these narratives in motion.