Ted Talks: Spring and All

Ted Graf

Ted Talks

By Ted Graf, Head of School

Spring and All

(with eternal gratitude to William Carlos Williams for the borrowed title.)
While I was being taught how to teach by some outspoken seventh and eighth graders many years ago, I also had an active writing life. And during that time, I learned all I could about William Carlos Williams. I was smitten by his Imagist poems (yes, he's “The Red Wheelbarrow” poet); I romanticized the fact that he was a family doctor and wrote his poems on prescription pads in between appointments--I imagined myself doing the same but as a teacher. When kids had left class, I would steal a few minutes and write down phrases and images in my notebook. Truth be told, I still take a moment sometimes to write down impressions, especially when a day has been full of delight, confusion, laughter, questions, and emotion--the stuff of a typical day at Headwaters.

Spring and All, considered to be one of Williams' most important books, was published in 1957 but begun in 1923--it's a challenging poetic manifesto for tumultuous times between the world wars, and it's not my favorite book of Williams'. But I refer to it now as spring break closes, and as we enter the final two months of the school year.

So here's the "and All" part of "Spring and All" for us.

It has been a year of broad and deep self-reflection (and surveys) for Headwaters--from the Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) survey and discovery groups, which are now completed; to the required TexasAlliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAAPS) self-study and site visit, which is now complete; to the work and self-assessment happening upon the fifth anniversary of becoming an International Baccalaureate® World School. We have been looking at how we do what we do and why we do what we do. Thanks to so many of you for the candor and direct communication in each of those areas.

I have another request of the community. Next year, we'll synthesize much of what we've learned this year in one report as we apply for accreditation with the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS). Part of the ISAS process involves a community survey (it's shorter than the AIM survey), which we're asking students, parents, faculty/staff, and trustees to complete. Here is the link to the ISAS Survey for Parents. All surveys are due Tuesday, April 23.

For parents, please know there will be one final and very short feedback request (ten items total) at the very end of the school year that will be specific to your family's experience this year in your particular program(s).

So, you may be wondering about the results of the AIM process and/or the TAAPS process. For TAAPS, we received lots of positive and affirming feedback, and we'll be receiving a report in June following the organization's closing meeting.

Results from the AIM process will be shared in May during faculty meetings, student meetings, and with parents at pop-up events with Ted & Lorena on all three campuses. All parent events are open to the entire community, even if your child attends another campus.
  • Tuesday, May 7: Tacos with Ted & Lorena, Springs Community Picnic Table, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, May 9: AIM Parent Meeting with Ted & Lorena, Creek Campus Library, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 10: Tacos with Ted & Lorena, River Campus Garden, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Student Gatherings are still to be determined for May

In the meantime, I hope to see you at one of the many events this spring--Project Week Fair, our first ever Senior Colloquium, Grandparents & Special Friends’ Day, Spring Fling, high school performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream,Headwaters Team for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS, Spring Concert, Field days on the Springs and Creek Campuses; Gates of Life, eighth grade graduation, and, of course, Commencement for the Class of 2019.

Springs Campus

18 months to Pre-K
6305 Menchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 512-443-8843

Creek Campus

Elementary School
9607 Brodie Ln.
Austin, TX 78748
Phone: 512-804-2708
Fax: 512-628-4810

River Campus

Middle & High School
807 Rio Grande St.
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-480-8142
Fax: 512-480-0278