September 22, 2022
Dr. Beth Reaves – Head of School, Washington School for Girls (WSG)
Washington School for Girls is a co-sponsored ministry of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.
Annie Jensen joined the Washington School for Girls fundraising team after graduating from Macalester College with a B.A. in Religious Studies and Linguistics. As part of her orientation, she visited several classrooms to experience WSG’s approach to teaching and learning. Enjoy her reflection on the Etiquette, Leadership, and Service class, taught by Demetria White, Religion Teacher and Coordinator of Campus Ministry:
Recently, I visited a fifth-grade classroom at the Washington School for Girls to participate in a new class: Etiquette, Leadership, and Service. The day I joined the class, DeMetria White, the Religion Teacher and Coordinator of Campus Ministry, led the students in a timely lesson about how to welcome others. Ms. White took my presence in the classroom as an opportunity to reinforce the girls’ learning, asking, “Did anyone welcome Ms. Annie to our classroom?” The girls let out a series of gasps and directed guilty looks toward me as they realized they had not used their newly learned skills to welcome me. Going around the room, they reflected on the ways they could have acted more welcoming, such as introducing themselves and showing me around the classroom. Several minutes before class ended, the girls leapt out of their seats and formed an affirmation circle, where they followed Ms. White in a call and response exercise, repeating: “I love every part of me, from the color of my skin to my soul energy! I do my dance like!” Following this final affirmation, the girls burst into activity, dancing to imaginary music until the bell rang. Conscious of their previous lesson, they all waved goodbye to me as they left.
Upon reflection, I found that the girls’ excitement in the classroom and the lesson of the class perfectly exemplified WSG’s aim to ignite the joyful pursuit of learning and inspire lives of faith-filled service and leadership.