Ted Talks: A Letter to the Senior Class

Headwaters School
Headwaters Head of School Ted Graf is back with a video to share a video message. This week, Ted shared a letter to the Class of 2020 at this link.
Here is the text from this week's Ted Talk:


I’m on the River Campus today, and I have to tell you it’s good to be out of the house. Like so many of you who have spent time on this campus, I love this block; I especially love the trees and and I feel at home here. It will feel so satisfying to be back here together.

During this quarantine, I have kept my eyes open for tools that support good mental health. I found a useful one from Adam Grant. He suggested writing a gratitude letter. 

From his Tweet yesterday: 

Feeling grateful makes us happier. Showing gratitude makes others happier.
Gratitude journals are good, but gratitude letters are better.

So here’s my gratitude letter: 

To the Seniors, the Class of 2020 --

It’s Friday about 1:30 and I long for the Fridays  when the campuses were open, and I see you, during the chaos and dance of pick-up, forming an ever-expanding circle in the parking lot between Building 2 and Building 4.

I’m so grateful for that circle because it’s emblematic of the attitude and outlook of your class and what we want the school to be for all -- 

•Joyous in connection, 
•Full of laughter, 
•Inviting and inclusive -- the circle changes size and shape as people walk by. 
•A bit argumentative and feisty
•And it’s accepting and warm, like you

It’s also loosely tight -- you love each other but more important, and more than any other senior class I have known, you respect each other on most days and in most circumstances -- that’s what makes it tight and loose simultaneously.

In the four years I have known you, these attributes have characterized your class -- openness, joyousness, closeness, and a tendency to see the good and find the good. 

We all need that right now.

There are many other things I’m grateful for when I think about you as a group. You have made Headwaters and the broader community a healthier and more beautiful place to be through your films, your art, your activism, your music (oh, your music), your athleticism, your organizing, your playfulness, your outspokenness, your loyalty (but not blind loyalty), your exquisite and finicky brains, but most importantly for me and the school you took our commitment to bring more peace to the world and acted on it. 

The activist and author, Glennon Doyle wrote in her new book, “Untamed,” 

Nice is a Peacekeeper
Honest is a Peacemaker

You are Peacemakers because you repeatedly have shown us to be Honest

Anyway, I’ll have a chance to say more in a month or so when you graduate.

Thank you for all you have given to Headwaters.

With abiding respect and love,

To all other Headwaters community members, if there’s a group or a person who deserves a gratitude letter write it and send it. Or maybe you want to create a video gratitude letter with me?
Ted Graf
Head of School

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