“Dr. Foster, are you busy?” This must be one of my favourite questions to hear when it’s posed by a student. It means that our girls feel comfortable enough to seek me out because they want to share an idea, a dilemma or some important news. And so it was last week when two students knocked on my door.
I invited the girls in and they took a seat on the sofa, looking tentative and slightly uncertain. They gave each other an encouraging look and began.
“We want to talk to you about a decision that was made last week that we disagree with. It might not be a big deal and normally we’d just let it go. But you keep telling us to use our voice to speak up. So here we are.”
In that moment, my heart sang. Sitting right in front of me was qualitative evidence that our ongoing work with students is taking hold. These girls were proof that students are listening to the important messages we share.
This is your school.
Your voice matters.
Be brave and speak up.
Believe in yourself.
Use your voice for good.
Each of these messages, delivered every day in different ways, woven into the fabric of weekly assemblies, English classes and science labs. Messages tossed out to the girls directly and indirectly, again and again until they permeate the halls and surround the walls of the Castle. Words that matter. Words that speak to who we are and what we believe.
Challenge her mind. Strengthen her voice. Nurture her heart. That is our mission. Our reason for being.
Our mission isn’t something we created to sit on the pages of our Strategic Plan. It’s something we work to achieve every day. So when students tell me they feel empowered to speak up, I am proud of the hard work being done by every person in our school. They are bringing our mission alive in the hearts and minds of our Trafalgar girls.
So when they bravely ask, “Dr. Foster, are you busy?” I want them to know I’m never too busy to listen! Their voice matters.