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From the Headmaster

From the Headmaster Archived Articles 2019-20

List of 9 news stories.

  • Stress & Trauma in the Time of COVID-19

    Neil Mufson
    A very useful but quick read is the article in the New York Times on May 7 entitled “How to Keep Your Children’s Stress From Turning Into Trauma” by Stacey Steinberg, a law professor at the University of Florida. Steinberg reminds us that at times of stress, stress hormones are released into our bodies and these hormonal changes, meant to activate our “fight or flight” response, can in children lead to “acting out, regressing, retreating, or even seeming content.” However, sometimes children’s exposure to stress can lead to trauma.
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  • Inspiration in a Time of Uncertainty

    Neil Mufson
    I always challenge myself to find the silver lining, especially in the worst of circumstances. I have found that identifying the good in any situation allows me to stay optimistic, grateful, productive, and balanced.
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  • Distance Learning Then & Now

    Neil Mufson
    I was recently thinking that our current Distance Learning initiative returns us in some fundamental ways to the very roots of The Country School experience. When the school was founded in 1934, and extending beyond its earliest years so that there were even remnants of it still in place when I arrived in 1990, it subscribed to a “school in a box” solution that was then offered by The Calvert School in Baltimore.
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  • Commitment

    Neil Mufson
    Mr. Hawkes, my high school tennis coach, demanded our complete commitment to the team. As if to underscore that he was going to require unusual dedication, each season, before we ever started hitting any balls, he required that we spend a few weeks running several miles a day. These runs thinned our ranks and left us with a more manageable team. But the fact that they continued into the season reflected the impassioned way Mr. Hawkes regularly talked about the level of conditioning and commitment it would take if we were ever going to amount to anything. He regularly told us that our skills were not as important as our willingness to persevere.
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  • CSPA Provisions

    Neil Mufson
    Some of what our Parents Association provides for our children may be in danger of disappearing next year. The reality is that each year the CSPA raises about $150,000 that it uses to provide many hallmarks of a child’s TCS experience: field trips, outdoor eduction trips, opening day supply packets, the school’s athletic program, assemblies, the Holiday Breakfast, and the list goes on. 
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  • Becoming a Leader

    Neil Mufson
    The recent coming of autumn and the smell and feel of the air brought me back to the fall of 1968 in New England, the first time I remember feeling like a leader. It was my sixth grade year, and we were the “seniors” of our elementary school. I had previously been selected for one of the coveted positions of “audio visual assistant” and had gotten to miss a lot of class as I ran around the school setting up movie and filmstrip projectors for teachers. But I saw that assignment as fun and relief, unconnected to respect and responsibility, the lessons I was about to learn.
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  • Saving Childhood

    Neil Mufson
    What are parents to do? Last week I wrote about writer Kim Brooks’s NYT article “We Have Ruined Childhood” and its conclusion that in our society, “a disintegration of communal and familial structures for childcare and child raising,” coupled with a dramatic increase in work demands for most parents, have led families to have “to prioritize physical safety and adult supervision over healthy emotional and social development.” Brooks asserts that these significant and often overwhelming social forces have led to phenomena that are distinctly unhealthy for children. Thus, childhood today is marked by longer school days, earlier and earlier academic demands, over-regimentation, protection from any kind of adversity, active-shooter drills, constant mass gun violence, and the scaling back of time devoted to play, being in nature, or doing nothing. Unintentionally — but not surprisingly — all of this has resulted in higher and higher childhood levels of unhappiness, inattention, learning issues, social maladjustment, stress, anxiety, depression, and suicide.
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  • We Have Ruined Childhood

    Neil Mufson
    What does it say about our culture that rates of childhood depression and anxiety are at their highest measured levels ever? In The New York Times Kim Brooks, who authored Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear, recently reported that “children today are more depressed than they were in the Great Depression and more anxious than they were at the height of the Cold War.” Her recent article entitled “We Have Ruined Childhood” uncovers reasons that you might not expect. 
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  • Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

    Neil Mufson
    Mr. Mufson discusses this year's theme at school: gratitude.
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