What Silence Can Teach Us

img_0570It has been a busy few weeks here at Mentor College with the introduction to of Edsby to students and parents. Instructions have been shared with students, parents have been notified of this new program via email, teachers have been posting on their pages and many other forms of communication are taking place between students, parents, teachers and principals.
Prior to Thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to travel to the Outdoor Education Centre with 2 of High School’s leadership classes. We were able to avoid the rain and that presented an opportunity that I have not had in a very long time. Following our campfire on Saturday evening some students noticed the starry night sky above. They asked if we could all lie down on the grass volleyball court and watch the stars.

As we lay on the field a hush fell over the group. Chatter turned to complete quiet and for twenty minutes, 37 seventeen-year olds remained speechless, literally and metaphorically. The only sounds were the oohs and ahhs when a shooting star (or 4) streaked by. I lay there waiting for the silence to be broken by a giggle that I knew would erupt into laughter. It did not happen. Eventually the air became a little too cool and we moved into the OEC to warm up. As we walked back Ms. Higgs and I overheard students state they had never heard the world so quiet.
There are not enough moments like these in our lives. Our fast paced world has almost taken over our daily lives. It is difficult to escape the notifications from our devices or even the hum of electricity. If you have the opportunity in the near future I would highly suggest taking some complete quiet time like this for yourself. Consider it a restart of sorts.

Another more impressive moment was seeing maturity in action. These students knew the significance of what they were doing, when they were doing it. We are very good at appreciating memorable moments after the fact, but to recognize value in the moment and then fully embrace it was impressive to say the least.

Finally, as an educator I believe in the power of experiential learning. Whether it is an overseas trip to India or Iceland, running a school event like our annual Fashion and Art shows or simply sitting quietly under the stars, experience is a powerful teacher. At Mentor College we are proud to offer numerous clubs, organizations, teams and events that create these opportunities for students to share in and learn from. As you browse through your Edsby pages you will see the wide variety of opportunities that your student can take part in. Please encourage your child to engage in some of these in order to have the best possible school year.

Aneil Panchal
Assistant Vice-Principal
High School Division

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