Welcome to Mount Tamalpais School!

Read remarks from Andrew Davis at the First Day of School All School Gathering

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Welcome, Mount Tamalpais School students and professional community members! I am thrilled to see you all here, in person in one place. It has been eighteen months since we were all together in one place. I am so deeply filled with joy seeing you all here right now.

Welcome! I lead with that word very intentionally. It is my hope that all Mount Tamalpais School community members feel not just invited to our school, but welcomed. What is the difference between welcomed and invited? Joy and goodwill. Inviting is opening the door. Welcoming is opening the door, saying “come on in,” and engaging in conversation. When you are welcomed you feel known, heard, and valued. Welcome to MTS.

Welcoming involves others. Rather than saying “come sit with us” – that is inviting – when we welcome we still invite but then we slide over making room and start to chat. In the hours, days, and weeks ahead, look to welcome the newest members of our community. Welcome a classmate that you did not spend much time with last year. Welcome your new teachers.

We can welcome more than just people. Welcome challenge. You are going to face challenges this year; by coming to MTS you have invited challenges. Since the door to challenge is open, welcome the challenge. Get excited to spend time with that challenge. I was a cross-country runner in high school, running three-mile races. At first, I dreaded the challenge of a steep hill. With time, though, I learned to see the challenge as an opportunity to excel; I welcomed the challenge. In my best race – I actually won the race (junior varsity for those who keep track of these things) – I used the hills to my advantage. When we welcome challenges, challenges move from an enemy to an ally.

Welcome, also, difference. When you learn that a teacher or classmate has had a different life experience or belief, welcome that difference. This is an amazing opportunity to learn something that you might not have otherwise learned. Whether your friend practices a different religion than you, perhaps has two fathers, or is a twin, welcome and engage. Some of our best learning awaits when we welcome difference.

It is my goal, it is our goal as a school, that every single one of you and your families feels welcomed, not just invited at MTS this year.

Welcome to Mount Tamalpais School 2021-2022!

- Andrew

 

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