When I was a sophomore in high school, my English teacher assigned us what would turn out to be the most rigorous assignment I had ever faced in school. I was to find a complete stranger, interview that person in depth, play the tape of the entire interview for my classmates, and then write a feature article on that person as if I were writing for the New York Times magazine. What made this particular assignment rigorous for me is that I had to identify and then introduce myself to a person I didn't know. I then had to research that person, so that I could ask thoughtful and insightful questions. Then I had to actually follow through on that and present it to an audience who mattered to me (my friends and classmates). My first attempt was a spectacular failure. I didn't prepare enough questions so the interview was completed in less than fifteen minutes; I became flustered during the interview and didn't ask any follow-up questions; I wasn't interested in the subject; I didn't check my tape recorder in advance, and I failed to capture anyone's voice--lots of white noise. And then my teacher expected me to present this string of failures to the class. Talk about adolescent humility.
Over the past two years, Headwaters has spent a lot of time and energy reflecting on where we've been, how we've gotten to this point, and where we're headed. As a summary, we completed our required self-study for TAAPS (Texas Alliance for Accredited Private Schools) last March and earned accreditation again; we completed our first ever self-study for the International Baccalaureate and learned a lot about the evolution of our Diploma Programme; we voluntarily completed the AIM (Assessment on Inclusivity and Multiculturalism) process and generated insights and recommendations about how we can more fully live into the part of our Purpose statement that reads, "embrace diversity to bring more peace to the world." And, we recently completed our first self-study for the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS). The visiting team of 16 fellow educators from across the region were here this week exploring our delightful school.
We wish all of our families (old and new), students, alumni, and other supporters a happy, successful, and prosperous new year. We look forward to celebrating more joyous moments with you!
We are grateful for the community we create together. Thank you for being part of the Headwaters family. And on behalf of my colleagues and friends at Headwaters, we wish you and yours a warm and joyous New Year. We all look forward to seeing students back on Tuesday, January 7.