Heather R. Segil, 7th Grade Advisor & Humanities Teacher
Our 7th grade students are going out with a bang as they experience all of the culminating events that make the end of the year so special at BZ. From their play, Circus Olympus, which demonstrated their ability to truly work toward a common goal as a grade, to their final projects that wrap up their learning for the year, our sevvies (7th graders) are working hard, staying positive and making these last weeks count. And nowhere was this more evident than on our annual trip to Washington, D.C.
A culmination of a year of learning in History about our nation’s founding principles and promises, the trip to D.C. brings everything together, focusing all the abstract ideas into a real, concrete place. We visit Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate; tour the spaces where our government makes and enforces laws; and ponder memorials to the people who have helped to shape our country. Students researched in advance of the trip and taught one another about wars and heroes, triumphs and failures, important places and people. They ran around and completed top secret missions at the Spy Museum, and they were serious and thoughtful as they walked the grounds of the Pentagon Memorial. Students also visited the National Holocaust Memorial Museum, launching in earnest the year of Holocaust education that will be at the core of their 8th grade year. Quite simply, they did and learned a LOT in four short days. If you haven’t already, take a peek at the Washington, D.C. blog, which chronicles our adventures in the nation’s capital.
And while learning about our nation and its government was, of course, the primary goal of the trip, as teachers, we can’t help but notice all of the other kinds of skills that our students demonstrated—like helpfulness and patience and flexibility (LOTS of flexibility). Like openness and curiosity and enthusiasm. Like life skills and independence and taking care of each other. And while that may not always feel like that’s what our government is all about, it certainly is evident, after our time together at the close of another year, that these things are truly what BZ is all about.