Headmaster Blog for September 26, 2013: The Boys and Girls Issue

Greetings Summit Family!

As the school year begins I would like to call attention to matters having to do with boys and girls–and civilized conduct. As you can imagine, having 85 children in a single location can be a daunting prospect and there are some things that you as parents can do to make this a more enjoyable and profitable experience for your children and for their teachers.

Matters pertaining to girls:

  • Moms, it is always good to coach your daughters about modest posture, both in standing and sitting. Our media is saturated with examples of evocative poses/behavior for girls. Please understand that they are learning the lessons well from all that they see and hear; your voice, presence and guidance should be foremost in their eyes and ears.
  • Please take time to educate your daughter in bathroom etiquette:
    • That we always flush.
    • That we never crawl on a bathroom floor.
    • That we never peek into a bathroom stall when someone else is using it.
    • That we always wash our hands—and that we wipe the countertop afterward.
  • When students are spoken to by an adult they should look them in the face and respond with, “yes/no sir/m’am”.

 

Matters pertaining to boys:

  • Fathers, teach your sons how to properly tuck in their shirts after they use the restroom.
  • Please take time to educate your son in bathroom etiquette:
    • That we always flush.
    • That we never crawl on a bathroom floor.
    • That we never peek into a bathroom stall when someone else is using it.
    • That we always wash our hands—and that we wipe the countertop afterward.
    • Boys should use stick deodorant, NOT spray.
  • At Summit we are concerned about other elements of etiquette usually associated with civilized behavior:
    • When students are spoken to by an adult they should look them in the face and respond with, “yes/no sir/m’am”.
    • Our boys should show deference to, and hold the door for our girls.

 

Summit began its life as a school of Kindergartners. Our school life-and-culture was simpler then. We now have a Sixth Grade and our students are moving into full-blown adolescence. The boys are very “aware” of the girls and the girls are very “aware” of the boys. In fact, we’ve already had discussions about “crushes”. While we cannot prevent a boy from becoming infatuated with a girl and vice versa, we can say that our discussions at school don’t focus on these infatuations (“Wuv, Twue Wuv,” to quote one of my favorite movies, is not in the Summit curriculum).

On that note, Summit does not include “sex education” in its curriculum as a matter of policy. We believe that role and responsibility is in the domain of the parent(s). Having said that, it is so important for you to be informed about these changes and anticipate a strategy, rather than ending up in a reactionary mode with your child; much better to enter this phase with a plan. My wife and I found James Dobson’s book, Preparing for Adolescence to be a tremendous help, not just giving us information about this transformative time, but also strategies we could employ.

For parents of daughters I was recently made aware of an author you may want to consult. Dannah Gresh has her finger on the pulse of what it means to grow up as a girl in a culture like ours—and what we can do as parents, teachers, etc. to help them grow up as Godly, chaste and modest women. Two books by Gresh: Six Ways to Keep the Little in your Girl, and 8 Great Dates for Moms & Daughters.

There are a number of very helpful books out there on masculinity and fatherhood. John Eldrege has written, Wild at Heart; You Have What it Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know; The Sacred Romance. Another good resource is, Raising a Modern-Day-Knight by Robert Lewis.

For marriages I like the book that Mark and Grace Driscoll [Mar’s Hill] recently wrote called Real Marriage (not for the faint-hearted). I am so thankful for Mark’s persistent challenge to men to stand up and take the responsibility God has given us to be Godly men, husbands and fathers!

Summit Bulletin Board

  • Summit needs parents involved in overseeing recess. This is an important investment in the lives of our children, and a great way to serve our teachers. All background-check forms need to be turned into the school office by Friday at 3:45.
  • PE Shirts and cinch-bags have arrived and can be picked up in the school office.
  • Look for a field-trip schedule that will be coming home in take-home folders.
  • Summit classes need room mothers. Please contact Tammy McCabe to discuss this and other opportunities with the Summit PVO!
  • If you have car-pooling, or other needs/opportunities, they can be placed on this bulletin board.

God bless you all,
Dr. Timothy Orton
Headmaster

Headmaster Blog for September 26, 2013: The Boys and Girls Issue