Delighting in the Little Things

August 26, 2021

Head of School Allison Gaines Pell standing in front of the Wheeler main building in Providence and smiling at the camera.

Allison Gaines Pell is Wheeler’s Head of School

I have a wish that I know cannot be granted, which is that our families and students could see but a bit of the joy, renewal, and intention at Wheeler as we approach a new school year. We educators get excited about the little things related to school, from the new supplies, class lists(!), schedules, and the promise of a classroom begging to be filled with our students’ work, their big questions, discussions, and thoughts. So much promise!

Especially after such a difficult year, this week has brought a great deal of delight and connection as faculty and staff returned and greeted each other with (masked) smiling eyes. We are still in the pandemic, of course, but this week’s activities reminded me of the Wheeler spirit in multitudes. From the sorting hat ceremony for new faculty and staff, to Mark Harris’ opening remarks to kick off his fiftieth year at Wheeler, to the Lower School faculty taking on the ropes course, to reading groups and The Nest’s new beginning at the Farm, things are abuzz as always at Wheeler, and we cannot wait to see our young people—who complete the picture—next week.

For Mark’s remarks, I asked him to shared some of his unique wisdom (as well as some colorful Wheeler history), and while you can read much more in this news story, I thought this bit sums it up perfectly:

What becomes clear to us when we arrive every September, for the first time or the thirtieth, is that we are each year renewed. For as long as I’ve been here there have been supporters of innovation, intrepid adventurers, investors in cutting edge pedagogy. Innovations like: The Hamilton Program and dance. Molecular Biology. Neuroscience. Chinese. The Nest. Broadcasting. Jazz. Environmental Science for all. Resources for children to explore German and Astronomy and health care and brain waves. This is a place of breathtaking change but with a healthy respect for tradition and the tried and true…This is a place where we can pool our individual talents and ambitions into a collective mission. We partner with incredibly talented colleagues who embrace meeting our collective challenges. Each year, for each of us, is a chance for a great leap forward.

See you soon!!

P.S. Please see some more snapshots from this week on my Instagram feed, @agpatwheeler, where you will find daily tidbits about life in school. While we cannot yet have the free-flowing visits of parents on campus, we will try to give you a sense of your child’s life at Wheeler, at least through my eyes, there.

Related Reading