A Work of Heart

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. –African Proverb


As I have said a million times, I love doing this for so many reasons but the best is getting to sit down with interesting people who are passionate about what they do. This time  I got to sit down with my friend , Kathy Eaton and her daughter Cailin Eaton. Cailin is a teacher at the Pine Street School, located in downtown New York right off of Wall Street.

The Pine Street School website states that ‘their aim is to create a secure, caring environment in which students optimize their development intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. Students are encouraged to inquire, think critically, work collaboratively, and to construct meaning, reflect and take action, all the while having their natural curiosity in the world around them stimulated.’

At the Pine Street School they are part of the International Baccalaureate, (IB), program, as Cailin describes a PYP, which is the Primary Years Program.

They start with a specific curriculum and then work with parents and students to collaborate on a plan for that individual student, observe and adjust to see how that plan is working for the student as an individual, monitor goals and make adjustments accordingly. To get a more accurate understanding of what IB and PYP is and a better feel for the Pine Street School overall, please go to the website of the school http://www.pinestreetschool.com/


I loved chatting with Cailin about her life experiences that ultimately led her to The Pine School. In her bio on the school website it says, “Cailin’s passion lies within the philosophy that the best education does not tell students what to think but facilitates how to think creatively, learn deeply, act compassionately, and live fully.” Right on Cailin!

We all know everyone is different and everyone learns differently, we raise our children to believe and understand that they are individuals and to celebrate their differences. Yet when they get to school they are typically taught the same things the same way and if you don’t get it or understand it, sorry kid, we are moving on.  What happens if this feeling of for lack of a better word, I’ll say failure happens time and time again? There are wonderful public school teachers who are doing an outstanding job, whose hands are tied because of standardize mandates that schools have to abide by to receive funding. How do we begin to change the public school system? How do we begin to help great teachers reach levels of success that all children have the right to achieve? It seems like a daunting task but as a parent or any concerned citizen, start where you are. The horizon is overwhelming so lower the gaze and take one step at a time. If you’re a parent of a child in public school ask his or her teacher, what can I do to make this a more successful experience for my child or every child in this class? We have to pay attention, take responsibility for each other and care more. Our future depends on it.

This next generation is going to have to possess an arsenal of skill sets that no generation before them has ever had to acquire. This is something Cailin and the educators at the Pine Street School seem to have a firm grasp on. The atmosphere is one of a strong caring community, where children are nurtured and encouraged to express themselves in a variety of ways enabling them to foster that self confidence that will carry them far in life. I believe the quality of the life we live and the way we view the world is subject on how we value and perceive ourselves. It is imperative to love and value ourselves so we can love and value the world around us.

My hope is this next generation will grow up having the confidence that they hold the keys of success by understanding that we need and have compassion and empathy for each other. That alone we go fast, but together we go far.