Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to:
- connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
- share ideas about learning and human development;
- spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy.
Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing.
Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School
Last week I found myself thinking a lot about neurotypicality and the ways in which the DA community can celebrate and/or denigrate behaviors that fall outside the norm.
On our good days, we do excellent work in this realm. As I wrote in our “welcome to DA” web page:
Students here can be their most unique and best selves. We like "weird." We expect students to chase passions in many directions. In the words of one senior during his exit interview: "DA does a great job of supporting the ventures of students. Even if you fall on your face doing something, you still feel supported doing it."
Twice on Thursday, I felt deep pride about this strength of DA.
In the morning, Senior Eliza Granger orchestrated a beautifully moving Upper School assembly about autism ……
I lost my job on Friday morning.
Luckily I was able to take it back on Friday afternoon -- from 3rd Grader Bennett Harris, whose parents won the “Head of School for a Day” item at last spring’s DA Benefit Auction.
Though tempted to have Bennett renegotiate our employee dental insurance rates or let him field complaints from angry Upper School parents, I opted for a more gentle plan for Bennett’s big day.
We began with Morning Meeting, where classmates made policy recommendations for Bennett to consider (“We should have only PE, recess, and science every day! . . .“There should be ice cream for everyone on Mondays and pizza on Fridays.” etc.). As we walked through the hallway, a faculty member requested a salary increase. Showing……
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