⭐️Belonging is the root of confidence.
Many students arrive at Carroll School nervous about education, having had experiences that did not feel good to them. They carry a lot of apprehension as they work to heal their confidence. In Multis, they can shed that worry and expand to their limits.
I studied art education in college and one thing I recall vividly is the idea that when you’re playing, you are operating at your highest, most creative level. There are no boxes around play, anything is possible. When students come to play in Multis—art, gym, Bounders, theater, music, PE—they can be expansive, unrestrained, creative. Carroll’s Multis really celebrate that. Read about Julie Siftar and her experience in Ghana with the Witness Tree Institute.
Will Close '11
Middle & Upper School
To belong, you have to have trust in your peers and your abilities. The Bounders forest is a dynamic and complex system, a fitting space to guide students to trust themselves, trust their peers, and trust the forest. It’s a process.
Many kids come to Carroll feeling uncomfortable outside, in nature. Our first goal is to create a warm, welcoming space in the yurt and Bounders Woods. We design forest games where students experience fun, but there’s an intentionality to this. While playing, they are interacting with nature—looking at the sky, touching a 300 year old tree, listening to birds.
As comfort outside builds, we invite students to expand their boundaries through skills such as climbing, woodworking, fire building. There’s a confidence that comes from confronting fears and achieving what you set out to do.
As an alumnus, I can speak from experience that the Bounders program is transformative—the trust and confidence that was once lost is found again here.
Read about how Will Close activates learning in Bounders.
Performing Arts Teacher
Middle & Upper School
Learning the values of being comfortably confident and thinking with an open mind are paramount to the Multis approach. Whether acting out an improv sketch, battling at badminton, belaying a friend up the climbing wall, sculpting a scuba diver, or soldering a lighting circuit, students are constantly exploring new interests, often uncovering talents, in a supportive and collaborative environment.
Trying new things, taking risks, exploring identities—these are all directly tied to self-esteem, confidence, and a growth mindset. And when students find success together, they feel a sense of joy and belonging.
⭐️Belonging is an open door. It’s a place where you are seen, supported, and can openly express your interests and self. So when I ask my improv students to “now, act like a dog who can suddenly speak,” my hope is that they have the courage, confidence, and willingness to give it a shot.
This article is part of a series from Carroll Connection 23-24: The Belonging Issue
- Carroll Connection 2023-24