Oak Hill Blog

Boarding School helping to establish a sense of belonging and being known

Belonging & Being Known

What does it mean to belong and how can we provide our children with a sense of belonging?

Even from a young age, children scan their environment looking for a place of safety and security—a place where they are valued and accepted.  Over time, expectations of others become increasingly important, and school can take on a life of its own.  By high school or even middle school, many students find themselves wondering how they fit in and if they even want to fit in with the peer group surrounding them.

Just this week, I had a conversation with a parent who summed it up by saying, “School is often a place to be known for sports or to be known for academics.”  I thought to myself . . . shouldn’t school first be a place simply to be known?  Before engaging in learning or teaching, shouldn’t teachers and school administrators get to know the individual needs and personality of each child?

As a former teacher, I know first-hand how challenging that can be when dealing with multiple large classes each day.  Trying to remember the names of 140+ students a day, let alone their unique learning styles and motivations, is a daunting task for anyone.  Even the most conscientious teachers often find themselves unable to engage meaningfully with their students and wonder, isn’t there another way?

Oak Hill Academy says yes, there is another way and ensures every student has an opportunity to be known in a structured, nurturing environment that encourages growth.  Instead of teaching 140 students per day, I now have the privilege of working at a small boarding school with a student body of that size.  Every student is known by name and, more importantly, they can each experience a sense of belonging in this place.

Mrs. Katherine Giszack
Director of Admission

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