Head of School's Blog

Dancing With Change

Kim Ridley
Change is the only certainty in life—a concept I once shared with my partner, as he reflected on workplace transitions. My remark, "Nothing remains the same" served as an epiphany for him, offering a new lens through which to view his experiences. This aversion to change wasn't unfamiliar to me; my parents exemplified it through their steadfast routines and choices. My mom, for instance, wore the same hairstyle, went to the same doctor, attended the same church, and cooked the same meals for most of her adult life.

My own decision to embrace my natural hair texture sparked criticism, echoing my mother's fear that I would not be accepted by society. Her fear was real, and at the same time, look at how we have transformed our thinking about the way we wear our hair. My daughter, for example, totally embraces her natural hair.  We all struggle with the tension between our preference for the familiar routine over the unknown.

At Fayerweather, change is underway. Long-serving staff members are retiring, families are evolving, and new opportunities beckon, reflecting a dynamic shift in our community's composition. Such transitions, whether within our staff or among the families we serve, are not personal but a natural part of life's ebb and flow.

In this period of transformation, including recent staff changes, I invite us to reflect on the opportunities ahead. Change, with its inherent challenges, also promises renewal and growth. Our strategic planning is a gateway to reimagining our work, fostering innovation, and enhancing our adaptability to both internal and external shifts. This moment calls for flexibility, creativity, and a reassessment of our strategies to build a stronger foundation for future success.

The reputation of Fayerweather continues to attract professionals aligned with our mission, introducing fresh perspectives that will merge with the longstanding visions of our community. As we welcome new members, let's reaffirm our commitment to our core values and mission, recognizing the vital role each of you plays in this journey. Your heart, dedication, expertise, and insight make Fayerweather an exceptional place. Together, we will navigate current and future transitions, enriching our work and deepening our impact.

Ian Symmonds, our strategic planning consultant, posed a thought-provoking question: What would our world miss without Fayerweather Street School? We'd miss a nurturing foundation that we build for students that cultivates curiosity, creativity, and wonder—a place where comprehensive education extends beyond textbooks to encompass crucial societal issues like climate change, the history of race in America, and food insecurity. Fayerweather is more than a school; it's a community where teaching is a calling, authenticity is celebrated, and a sense of belonging shines through vibrant programs like our Variety Show. Without FSS, the meaningful projects, poetry, and the craftsmanship in boat-building for our Regatta, and so much more would be absent.

Change is inevitable, yet our responses to change is what shapes our journey and outcomes. Let's approach change with optimism, openness, and a vision of possibility. We stand together, ready to support each other through upcoming transitions. I am confident that, united in our mission, we will emerge stronger and more cohesive.

Here's to embarking on the next chapter at Fayerweather, poised for growth, learning, and unmatched success.
Fayerweather Street School | 765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617-876-4746
Fayerweather is a private PreK, kindergarten, elementary and middle school. We engage each child’s intellect.