Carpool began at 7:25 a.m. and over 350 Lower School students bounced out of their cars and into newly redesigned learning spaces to start the 2014-2015 school year. It is my task to welcome each child, returning or new to this school year. The message I decided to share in this year’s Opening Assembly was, “You are a Genius!”
Each one of our students was born with the potential for genius. We may have the next Steve Jobs or William Shakespeare sitting among us and it is our job as teachers to help them know and understand their unique abilities early on. I reminded each child that the world has been changed by by ordinary people who were encouraged to be extraordinary.
Genius is the act of solving problems in ways no one else has solved it before. It’s about using human insight and initiative to find original solutions that matter. A genius is someone with the insight to find not-so-obvious solutions to a problem.
The only path to expertise, as far as we know, is practice. So this year in Lower School at Mount Vernon, we have turned our classrooms into laboratories of innovation and creativity. While the new furniture is fantastic, the paint is fresh, and even the potties are clean… the best part of these classroom spaces is that they are filled with our students, our little geniuses. Their class, our school, Atlanta, and our world needs their ideas and contributions. It is fun to think about:
- Galileo making his first important scientific observation at 17.
- Handel composing music when he was 11.
- Marian Anderson beginning her singing career at gage six and taught herself to play the piano at age 8
The stage is set, the bar is raised high, but I hope each one of our Lower School geniuses left today’s assembly with a full bucket.