More Than a School
I’ve always fancied myself a nomad. Before teaching, I enjoyed the challenge of mastering a job to then move on to the next. From broadcasting booths to business meetings, I’ve experienced an array of working environments in different fields. Even as a teacher, I had the pleasure of representing a multitude of mascots in just one year! They included a Jaguar, an Eagle, a Sting (or wasp rather), and a Bengal.
Throughout these experiences, I’ve observed a variety of organizations, communities, and people. As I wrap up my first full semester at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, I can honestly say there is nothing I’ve seen that compares to being a Red Knight.
BSM has adopted growth-mindset as a school-wide platform for motivating students to work through the difficult aspects of their learning and instill an inherent idea that anything can be accomplished! Although they may fail, students are learning how to re-calibrate their approaches, analyze decision-making throughout their classwork, and develop a grit and determination to pursue their desired goals. The administration at Benilde-St. Margaret’s takes a similar stance in respect to the autonomy of their teachers allowing for the creation of unique, boundary pushing lessons that give educators the chance to reflect on their own effectiveness and goals for students. To most teachers, failure is an unacceptable certainty. This community, however, from coworkers, to students, to other staff members, and parents alike, show the kindness and understanding to turn any of these failures into pivotal life lessons, raising up and supporting those who are within the Red Knight collective.
I can honestly say I’ve never looked forward to work, mainly because there are only a few types of people in the world who enjoy waking up to an alarm every weekday! Sure, there have been days in my life I enjoyed work, and certainly tasks and goals I’ve accomplished in a workplace in which I took pleasure. Being at BSM, however, has shifted my very thought process on a workplace and school community. Over winter break, there were days I was wishing I was at school; I missed my students, I missed my coworkers, and I missed my community!
Being as new and fresh as I am, I feel I have an important message for both current Red Knights and those looking in from the outside trying to understand what our school is like. Sure, it is a school. It is also a church, and a place of intense worship. It is an activity center. It is a library. It is a sports arena. It is a counselor’s office. It is a never-ending pot luck with genuine and kind colleagues. I urge those who are a part of this community to recognize the very special place we find ourselves, within the support of a family that raises the bar for expectations and for reinforcement. For those who have only experienced Benilde-St. Margaret’s from an outside perspective, just know there is a place in this community for you, especially if it can transform a nomad like me.