The other day we were discussing logos. What is a logo? A logo is a trademark to represent a company or organization. It is an identifying symbol. Since I am the school’s admissions director, I am very aware of our logo and its placement in our materials regarding the school – stationery, school literature, envelopes, etc. When you see that symbol you should automatically think “New Morning School.” I feel that our logo captures the very identity of what is New Morning School.
To me, our logo is an image of a plant. With this being springtime, plants are on my mind. Plants have a natural pattern of growth. It is a biological process. The plant will go through definite stages and changes before it reaches maturity. I feel that the processes that the plant undergoes parallel the processes that children experience as they grow. At New Morning School our programs fit the developmental stages that every child will go through.
First, the seeds will be planted. I’m reminded of a story entitled “The Garden” in the book Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel when Toad plants some flower seeds. He was told that he would soon have a garden. “How soon?” Toad asks. “Quite soon, but you have to be patient”, replies Frog. Toad is not patient. Toad put his head to the ground and shouted, “NOW SEEDS, START GROWING!” “You are shouting too much,” said Frog. “These poor seeds are afraid to grow.” Eventually, Toad realizes that you can’t rush the seeds and his seeds begin to sprout.
At New Morning School our preschool and kindergarten programs are very similar to a nursery for newly sprouted seedlings. Special care is given at this time from the teachers and parent aides to our children to give them the nutrients to grow. This is done by stories, creative play, art, movement, discovery, math and language materials and opportunities to create journals. The children are still very tender at this age so we don’t want to apply too many nutrients that may actually harm them. Putting too much fertilizer on them could burn their roots and they would wither. The right amount of nourishment will make them strong and solid.
The children outgrow the nursery and they are ready to be transplanted. The elementary program represents a garden filled with a variety of plants. It is not a field of one crop but a mixture of plants with different watering, feeding and soil requirements. With each child receiving their own individualized plan, the teachers can tend to their special needs. The children are becoming more independent now so there are less parent aides in the classroom hovering over them. This allows for more natural light in the form of making decisions for themselves and taking ownership in their learning. They are absorbing a lot from their environment also in the form of science, Spanish, computers, art, music and gym.
Now the children have come through a stage of rapid growth. They look like they can stand alone; however, they still need support. In middle school the program is down to just one parent aide. This aide acts as a stake to help the student stand tall and not topple over. Our middle school teacher is taking this time to really shape the student readying him or her to be the best they can be. The student will become a productive individual.
So, the next time you see the New Morning School logo; don’t just see a stationary illustration of a plant. Instead, envision a time-elapsed movie of a flower about to bloom.
Joan Barrett is admissions director at New Morning School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.