Head of School's Message: January 22

In the bedlam of the New Orleans Superdome on Sunday afternoon, LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff struggled to hear the plays from Coach Sean McVay as they were radioed in from the sidelines. 
Through the din, the young 32-year-old coach managed to communicate with his 24-year-old quarterback and after 60 minutes of intense football, blown calls and miraculous kicks, the Rams emerged victorious and move on to February 3rd's Superbowl.
 
After years of allegiance to Washington D.C.’s NFL team, I jumped on the Rams bandwagon (or the Goff cart as many are calling it) when the franchise returned to Los Angeles three years ago. I could not justify rooting for a Washington D.C. team whose owner stubbornly refused to change the team’s insensitive name when there was now a local NFL team to support. I’m glad I switched, but I’m off topic.
 
Overcoming noise and seeking ways to be silent without being coerced or directed is one of the ways in which we are able to make sense of the world. At school, there are times when everyone needs to be quiet. Chandler assemblies begin with time to be silent. A simple call to order quiets the gym or the Ahmanson to give everyone a chance to compose themselves.
 
Chandler grandparent Philip Nix shared this quote with me from German philosopher Martin Heidegger, “Silence may speak more eloquently than words. It is only because people are capable of silence that they are capable of authentic speech. If people cease to be rooted in such silence it all becomes chatter.”
 
In their remarks to the community at the conclusion of the accrediting visit last week, the WASC-CAIS committee acknowledged that the rain somehow quietened the school. Students were not running around on the field, laying on the sport court or talking in the courtyards. The campus wasn’t as noisy as usual. Young people make a lot of noise at school, but there are times when young people need to be silent.
 
Children are growing up in a noisy, distracting world. Being quiet helps make sense of the noise. Supporting students’ social-emotional well-being, which is one of Chandler’s priorities, includes recognizing that the school is in service to the value of being reflective. Personal reflection is possible, learning about learning results when distractions are absent and when silence prevails. It’s a life skill we want Chandler students to learn, but a skill that will be of no value during Superbowl LIII when the Rams take on the daunting New England Patriots.
 
Most sincerely,
John Finch
Head of School
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