How to Respond…


I love this quote for many reasons. One that resonates with me lately revolves around how our debate team responded to a “thumping” we took in our first ever debate competition. Prior to competing for the first time, I made everyone on the debate team promise me they would come back to the team, regardless of how the results turned out after our first competition. They all looked at me with a puzzled look (which is often the case), but I wanted them to know ahead of time that this first competition was going to be tough.

The music to my ears came from team after team that came back to our table after they competed for the first time. We lost our first five debates, but each group came back hungry and “fired up” for more. I have never been so proud of failure. But failure it was not. The kids were hungry because they were not as successful as they thought they could be.

The afternoon results on that February afternoon were better. We won two debates and got some great feedback from the judges. Nobody left deflated and all talked about practice the next week. I was a proud coach. The quote above reminded me that we can learn more from not being successful. We will get better from this experience and the kids are “hungry” for more. What more could I ask for? Thank you @Principal_El for the wisdom.

Full STEAM Ahead

A few weeks ago we hosted a STEAM event for girls aged 4-9. A couple people asked, “What is STEAM?” Many already knew. The national movement to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math is one that has our President promoting programs that will lead more American children into these fields and it is one we know is grossly underrepresented by woman. So we took a shot at getting some girls involved with a day of robotics, design and build activities and an arts unit. We thought we might get 20 girls. We hosted over 40. It was a great day that even got recognized by the girls toy maker GoldieBlox.


Many STEM related initiatives are starting to see the value in the A, the letter we added for our event. The Arts is so integral in the design and development of STEM that we can’t leave it out. Plus, when we looked at our program at The Woods we knew we already had the A as part of our S-T-E-M. These initiatives are important on a national level and they are essential for us in our building.

From a robotics curriculum and competitive team at our lower and upper school levels, to a rich fine arts curriculum that integrates with all subject areas in all grades to 3rd grade inventors in our Invention Convention, it is clear that The Woods Academy recognizes and lives the belief that STEAM is a priority for our kids. Just watch this commercial from the Super Bowl and read this article from Jessica Lahey, STEM Needs a New Letter.