As we end the school year with May’s festivities, we celebrate all the learning and the memories we’ve made! The first day of school seems like just yesterday, as we got to know our students. Now we reflect on all the ways they’ve grown – in maturity, social skills, academics, height, and more. But there’s one thing that always stands out as we watch students move on to the next class or graduate from our program. It’s the beautiful connections and bonds they’ve made with classmates, teachers, and staff.
They Came for the Spanish but Stayed for the Love!
Parents often tell us that they originally came to Spanish Schoolhouse Arlington for the language (or the culture, the curriculum, or our decades of experience) … but they stayed for the love and bonds! Our schools are known for having a uniquely warm and loving atmosphere. Much of this comes from the warmth that is inherently part of Latin culture. The rest is from our purposeful, daily focus on building loving relationships among the SSH Arlington family.
Building Bonds from Day One
Many studies show that our early experiences are formative for brain development. Positive experiences build trust and encourage learning. As educators and caregivers, it’s our responsibility to create a caring environment. We take that job seriously! It’s a priority at SSH Arlington to start forming authentic and caring bonds as soon as day one!
From the moment we first meet your child, we create and reinforce a series of positive connections and interactions. With smiles, high-fives, and hugs, we’re saying, “I see you and value you,” laying the important foundation of trust and care. These interactions set the stage for children to connect closely with teachers, staff, and each other! Building beautiful connections begin!
In the classroom, we:
- Create an atmosphere that is encouraging and nurturing
- Demonstrate daily that each child is an individual and has their own feelings and needs
- Are courteous and treat each other kindly and fairly by practicing our Weekly Manners
- Encourage positive choices by using Love and Logic philosophies
The Connection Payoff
We love hearing how this pays off! In our graduation celebrations, we ask students what they want to be when they grow up. We get lots of fun responses like ninjas, police officers, ballet dancers, and daddies. But one response always catches our emotions off guard – “iYo quiero ser maestro/maestra!” (I want to be a teacher!). As educators, we feel this is the highest form of flattery and it is so meaningful and rewarding. It validates that at SSH Arlington, our students felt so safe, seen, loved, and encouraged that they are inspired to be teachers too!
The students who leave us this month will always be SSH students at heart. We love when they return to visit (often feet taller!) Their parents tell us how fondly they remember their children’s teachers and the impact they made on their young lives. Our alumni visits are amazing but the updates on how students have used their Spanish to create a greater impact, cannot be beat! Read our Then and Now blog post about our former students who used their Spanish skills and SSH foundation for good in the world.
It takes a village to build a better future for our students, and we’re proud that our SSH Arlington village is so loving and strong!