Is this our most important promise?

“We promise your child will understand the importance of character.”

If you have ever been to a birthday celebration in the elementary school, you have seen this promise fulfilled.  It is a celebration of life with children articulating authentic kindness, empathy and respect for others.

If you have ever observed Kaylie’s weekly meetings with students for their core skills planning, you have seen this promise fulfilled. The self-discipline and accountability verbalized by the children moves me to be better myself.

If you watch Anna or Abigail lead a Socratic discussion, you will see this promise fulfilled. This method requires from the students patience, self-control, respect for others and humility.  I witness courage in action as the students voice their thoughts concisely, often disagreeing with the opinions of close friends yet with respect and politeness.

If you take part in PE with Coach Carpenter, you see our children demonstrating helpfulness and sportsmanship along with perseverance and courage.

If you see the middle school students guide each other as running partners, you will note their dedication, trust and empathy that is building each day.

I see hard work paired with fun-loving humor each day at Acton Academy.  I see students solving their own conflicts with each other with graceful intention.

To me, this may be our essential job, for how can you begin a hero’s journey without tapping into your own courage? What is it worth to be a great mathematician or business person or artist or doctor or teacher if you don’t know how to be in honest relationship with others or share true compassion or forgiveness?

While we can’t even imagine the world our children will be living in as adults, we can trust that they will be well-practiced in making decisions based on the best character traits within themselves. They will know who they are and how special they are.  They will know when to say, “no” and when to say, “yes.”

Could this be our most important promise to you? I lean strongly toward, “yes.”