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December 2, 2022

Weekly Letter from Jean-Yves - Spending Time with Important People

President Emmanuel Macron invited me to a reception at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. this week. (I cannot even begin to describe to you how proud my mother was – she immediately set about drafting a list of grievances for me to pass on to him!)  It’s not every day that a head of state invites you to hang out, so I took a look at my agenda to see if I could squeeze in a flying visit to DC while the rest of the team at The École continued to slog away. And well, it turns out I had far more important things to do this week than partying with the president.

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November 18, 2022

Weekly Letter from Jean-Yves - Giving Thanks

Every Wednesday, I begin my “Staff Updates” (an email destined for my colleagues) with a section entitled ”Gratitude” where I thank those whose work has made the school a better place thanks to a project, an action, or a gesture. It’s a habit I borrowed from Manu, one of our Kindergarten teachers—it is a common and touching practice in classes with Class Councils for students to regularly thank each other. Each week, I am always a little apprehensive when I think of the Gratitude paragraph—what if I have no one to thank this week? But it never happens. All you have to do at The École is open your eyes to see amazing things unfold every day. What began as a simple exercise now flows naturally.

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November 11, 2022

Weekly Letter from Jean-Yves - Getting the Balance Right

This week was obviously a special one on account of the parent-teacher conferences. They are an important moment for the entire community even if at times they feel like competitive chess matches—with limited time to think and each player frantically hitting their clock to stay within the time constraints.

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November 4, 2022

Weekly Letter from Jean-Yves - Putting Our Bilingualism on Display

Last night, I had the opportunity to sit in on Sara Weintraub’s Introduction to Writing Workshop for Elementary Parents (there was a repeat session this morning too – but I couldn’t attend that one!). Writing Workshop is an approach to writing instruction that has been implemented in all our Elementary classes since Sara’s arrival at The École. The parents who attended the sessions were treated to a micro-lesson and were called on to produce their own pieces of writing;

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October 28, 2022

Weekly Letter from Jean-Yves - Showing Some Grit

Yesterday afternoon, just before playing their first competitive match of the season, our Falcons were treated to a powerful pre-game pep talk from Coach Soden. He spoke to them about grit, one of his five pillars of character. Grit has been a trending term in education since Angela Duckworth shared her protean definition of the term during a much-lauded Ted Talk. For Duckworth, grit is about passion and perseverance in pursuing long-term goals. It involves setting a goal and striving to reach it no matter how much energy is required and no matter how many obstacles are encountered along the way. It’s an excellent lesson for our students (and for me too!)

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