One of the keynote speakers at the recent NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) conference, Dan Heath, used the metaphor of the rider and the elephant to symbolize the challenges we face in changing from old ways that are no longer useful. If the elephant graphically represents the disproportionate influence of emotion over reason, then we have to stack the deck differently in order to overcome this natural imbalance. Heath suggests, as have others, the power of “intrinsic motivation” as the key to success.
I believe our teachers and students create intrinsic motivation at Williston by virtue of the close working relationships they develop and the collaborations that result. One such transformative moment came to life in the children’s theater production, our annual offering to area elementary school children during their February vacation week. This year, the show “Story Theatre: Journeys of Transformation from around the World and Beyond” was student-directed by senior Emi Caliguiri, who cast both Middle and Upper School students and created precisely the kinds of crossover experiences that make Williston so unique. Congratulations to Emi for an outstanding directorial job.
A scene from Story Theatre: Coincidentally, there was an elephant in the play.