I had thousands of ideas running through my head when I realized my dream of opening a school would become a reality. Of those thousands, there were a handful of ideas that I knew would most definitely be implemented into The Savvy Apple. These were the ideas that would set the foundation for our school and become a part of our identity.
From the very beginning, I knew one of the most important foundational concepts of our school would be family. After all, it is a family business through and through. Our family has laid every piece of flooring and painted every wall. Our family is here when we open and leaves when we close. Our daughter has taken her first steps on these floors, and my son has made lasting friendships under this roof. We have had celebrations and birthday parties here. We have had so, so many laughs and even a few tears in this building. It is a place that holds so many memories for our family.
Shouldn't it be the same for the other families, too?
I know that not all families will have the kind of connection to this building and to this school like we do, but I want them to feel like this is more than just a place they drop their children off so that they can go to work. I want them to know that we really do care about them and their children. One of our parents once told me "It takes a village to raise a child, and you are a part of our village". Those words really stuck with me because it is so true.
I know every child's name, every parent's name, and even many family members' names. I can tell you the month of most of our children's birthdays. I make a point to talk to every parent and child I see as they come in. I ask how your weekend was and how you are doing today because I genuinely want to know. I've hugged parents because they have come in crying after a hard day, and I've laughed with parents about stories of their children. I text pictures of kids to parents during the day because I know some days it's harder than others to leave your little one.
I have said "I" in every sentence but that could easily be replaced with a "we" because our teachers do the same.
Parents ask questions and share parenting stories with us because we, too, are raising young children. We know what it's like to find your laptop covered in paint (yes, that really happened) or when your child throws a twenty minute, screaming tantrum in a store parking lot causing people to stare at you questioningly (yes, that also really happened).
We are here for the same reasons and have the same purpose. This little school is so much more than a school - it's our village, our community, and our family.