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Preparing Students to Listen and Lead

When have you experienced listening as a catalyst for learning and leading? 
“It’s not about the absence of boys, it’s about the presence of girls.” With this one statement, our impressive 12th grade tour guide at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN captured the sentiment we so often use to describe the power of girls-centered spaces–like our Grades 4-8 middle school at Nashoba Brooks–that recognize, celebrate, and amplify the voices and impact of our students. As Megan Murphy, Global Executive Director of ICGS notes, girls-centered spaces are not about education with girls, they are about education for girls. This work is active, informed, and intentional. In October, I had the opportunity to attend the ICGS symposium, where keynote speakers and conference presenters generously shared research findings and good practice recommendations from their experiences around the world. Though there were too many highlights to list in one short post, a clear and common thread was the critical importance of listening. From Samar Ali’s focus on listening as the central pivot point in shifting mindsets on the path to peace, to Columbus School for Girls’ outstanding celebration of Shirley Chisolm’s quote, “If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,” to our very own Liza Garonzik’s ‘03 presentation highlighting her work with R.E.A.L. Discussion empowering students to engage in constructive inquiry and meaningful dialogue, the throughlines are clear. Our students will be prepared to listen and lead. When have you experienced listening as a catalyst for learning and leading? How might we continue to build this essential skill at every level?
Situated on a beautiful 30-acre campus in historic Concord, Massachusetts, Nashoba Brooks School enrolls all genders in Preschool through Grade 3, and students identifying as girls in Grades 4 through 8. Nashoba Brooks is an independent school designed to build community, character, and confidence in its students.
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