September 13, 2016 Hope Scibal

What’s in a Handshake?

Pull into the Grymes circle for drop-off in the morning, and the first thing your child will do after closing the car door is shake the hand of a faculty member. As a new parent years ago, this was one of the first things about Grymes that I fell in love with. It may seem a small thing to some (and often shrugged off by students), but to me it speaks volumes about the school’s child-centric approach to education and to its emphasis on fostering a community of respect and trust.

A handshake is more than just a greeting; it’s a promise.

A proper handshake imparts fellowship and connection. Starting the school day with a handshake from the Head of School or a teacher says more than just “hello”; the gesture tells each and every student that they are valued members of this learning community, that they are respected as individuals, and that they are an important part of a partnership.

Teaching children to be good citizens, to treat others with respect and to understand that they are deserving of respect themselves, is at the core of the Grymes mission and the very essence of character-driven education. It’s a powerful lesson, and its message resonates in that morning handshake every day.

So next time you pull into the Grymes circle in the morning, watch as your child embarks upon his or her day with a handshake and a smile. It’s a spark that will light them on the way to a day of active learning, and to a sense of self that they will carry with them for years to come.

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Hope is mom to two Grizzlies: Sophie ’21 and Liam ’25.