(On the Job is a series of blog posts highlighting the experiences of IGS staff. While roles and responsibilities of staff vary, the core commonalities exist in a shared desire to provide quality education for all under the intergenerational learning model.)
As I finish my fifth year as Principal at Near West, it is so crazy to think that another year has passed so quickly (and so seamlessly!). At a time where education is in crisis, and good teachers are hard to find, Near West has continued to thrive and be a beacon of hope and stability for all members of our educational community.
At Near West, I am so fortunate to have a veteran, hard-working, compassionate and dedicated team behind me. Administrators, teachers, and support staff, who collaborate tirelessly and who always go above and beyond to ensure that every student gets the best experience possible. They pour their time and their hearts into these kids year after year, and it makes all the difference in the world. Knowing the children we teach individually, culturally, and developmentally is as important as knowing the content we teach. I am also a firm believer that who we learn with is as important as what we learn.
Alongside my terrific team, Near West students deserve recognition for their passion for learning, and for just being lovely little humans in general. They have the kindest hearts and they just ooze empathy. They accept each other’s differences and genuinely care about one another. When new students start school at Near West I always get, “Is everyone always so nice here?” and the answer is truly YES! Everyone in the building is warm and welcoming. The students feel comfortable and confident because they can be themselves. They feel supported in their educational endeavors, and they are not afraid to ask for help of any kind if they need it.
Family engagement is a huge piece of our success at Near West. Our families are not just involved; they are actively engaged with all things Near West! They are there to support their children and uplift our teachers, to help a cause, to volunteer their time or to band together to help another member of our community.
Our Family Dance was an absolute triumph, and we have so many exciting events on the horizon as we finish out the 2022-23 school year! Upcoming Science Center/Omnimax Movie trip for our Developing Stage students. Metroparks hikes, stream walks, and a Zoo trip for our Refining and Applying Stage students. Walks to Mitchell’s and Mason’s Creamery for our Primary classes. Our school wide Field Day, the 7th& 8th grade dance and 8th Grade Commencement are always exciting times to celebrate our successes and cheer on our graduates!
To learn more about Near West Intergenerational School, click here.