One of the things I’ve noticed in my 16 months in this city is that when New Yorkers eat out in restaurants, they have the excellent habit of striking up a conversation with the people at the table beside them. At least that is how, on a fairly regular basis, my wife Andria and I surreptitiously get to know and share delicious moments with complete strangers. What always surprises me is their reaction when I tell them what I do for a living (I can’t help myself). Recently, for example, a film producer sitting at a neighboring table compared the pressure that we both experience in our respective jobs and proposed a deal for the evening: he wouldn’t talk about enrolling his kids in my school, and I wouldn’t pitch him a script. Cheers to that! Even more striking (and also a bit mysterious) was another neighbor’s reaction on a different evening; he told me there were three jobs he would never do: priest, rabbi, or head of school!
Being the Head of The École
Let’s not go overboard! Being a head of school means first and foremost coming to work every day with a smile on your face and taking enormous pleasure all day long working in the company of children and colleagues. At The École of course it means enjoying yourself in the evening too, as was the case again last night–tasting some very fine crus Beaujolais selected by Nefissa and dancing to tunes selected by DJ Flo (and Philippe). Thanks as always to Bolek for the impeccable organization and to all of those who came to spend the evening with us (I heard talk of places being sold for extortionate prices on the black market such was the scramble to be there!)
The Part the Community Plays
Asides from (or parallel to) these already legendary events, The École continues to forge its own path and to establish itself as a key player in the world of bilingual education. Our Open Houses are attracting more and more families, and our approach to learning is sparking more and more curiosity. I know that you–parents and colleagues–are contributing greatly to the surge of interest in our school by speaking about The École to your acquaintances, by putting us in touch with new business partners, by being parent ambassadors or teachers presenting their work to an audience of prospective families, by dancing on a Thursday night, by sending us an email of support or encouragement, and by smiling at us at drop off in the morning. All of these things are precious and I will never say it often enough.
The Secret Sauce
You are the force behind this school, you are the je ne sais quoi, the secret sauce that cannot be invented, outlined on a PowerPoint, or described in an advertisement. You are what makes my profession a fascinating one, whatever the guy sitting at the table beside me thinks. You are what motivates me to make sure our students have a happy, enthusiastic, dynamic, welcoming, and well-rounded school. A school that is just like you and where I get to do the world’s best job: not only am I a head of school, but I am the head of The École.
Next week is a short one and I won’t have the time to write you, nor will you have the time to read me. So I will take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by your nearest and dearest.