In Search of Good News

The news of the shooting in Las Vegas seems to be the latest in what has been months of tumultuous world events. Like most of us, I learned of this news before heading into school. I find myself struggling to process the scale of the tragedy in Las Vegas, while simultaneously grappling with the other troubling events that fill headlines and news feeds. Many of the events of the day leave me asking the simple question that will never receive a satisfactory answer, “Why?” From there, I go in search of good news, yet am confronted with waves of sadness, violence, discord, and pain.
In these difficult moments, it is the promise inherent in our work as educators that helps me get out of bed in the morning. Education, as both a process and a profession, is an eternally optimistic pursuit, attracting people who believe in the potential of those around them. Through our collective efforts, we guide children from early readers and writers to young adults who find their own voice and who appreciate the gifts and thoughts of others. We teach our students to be good citizens and to win and lose with class. We help them respect themselves and others, seeing strength in a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. We open the world to them, ensuring they are able to find beauty and meaning in nature and in art and in music. Guided by our mission, the Hackley community — all of us together — sets about to do something inspiring: educate the 846 children in our care.

The adults who work here extend ourselves to engage, encourage, challenge, and provide comfort and security for our students. We look after our students, even as we look after one another. The arm around a slumped shoulder, an offer of assistance when none was requested, a kind word at the right moment. These are untold simple acts that manifest themselves on a daily basis here and that are part of our school’s culture. These are the intangibles that make Hackley such a warm, humane, and inspiring community.

As difficult as the news of recent days and weeks has been, I place my hope in our students, in the adults with whom they work, and in the promise of what they will achieve together. The school’s mission and culture sustains us, especially in a moment when we all need it. Throughout Hackley’s long history, this has been — and continues to be — a good news story.