Exploring Identity through "Team Time": A Student's Perspective

Lily Durant, Grade 3


Living Our Mission in the Lower School

By Lily Durant, 3rd Grade Student

Team Time

is when we think about our community, and the communities around us. Mrs. McKeever has an awesome collection of books that we read, and then do a project on each one. We talk about different perspectives and putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, to see things from their point of view. It’s important to have diversity—life would be boring without it!

In my favorite project, we made self-portraits with words that describe us. It was a “flip-up”: first, you see a portrait of me, then you flip the page to see the words that describe me, followed by a hand drawn portrait of me. We talked about invisible and visible traits, so I described myself as kind, caring, dyslexic, intelligent, and loving—and I love music.

In the book, The Oldest Student by Rita Hubbard, we learned about a woman who lived to be 121 years old. I love her life story. She started in slavery, then she became free and learned to read. It was one of my favorite books so far. I like the collage art in the illustration, too—it’s very poetic.

We have been learning a lot about slavery in class, and I’ve been telling my mom how awful slavery is. I wanted to express myself, but I felt like it wasn't enough. Ms. McKeever told us that she entered a poem into a contest when she was young and won, and that inspired me to write a poem about slavery called “Black Rose.”

Black Rose
by Lily Durant

The trees in the forest and the trees in the meadow all sway to our rhythm as we protest.

The soft light of freedom flickering like that of long ago.

Like the sound of a wild rose in the ever so soft wind.

It sways in the direction of north where slavery is against the law.

And so, we protest, we protest a peaceful protest.

We are torn away from home.

Today true home is just a memory.

Like that of the black rose.


This article is part of a series from Carroll Connection 22-23: Living our mission every day as an inclusive community of learners

  • Carroll Connection 2022-23



Recent Posts

Exploring Identity through Team Time
Molly McKeever

In the 3rd Grade this year, we're focusing on concepts of identity in our new bi-weekly “Team Time” block. “Team Time” is dedicated to a series of all-grade group projects and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) activities—part of the larger work we’ve been doing on DEI at Carroll.

Exploring Identity through Team Time
Lily Durant, Grade 3

“Team Time” is when we think about our community, and the communities around us. Mrs. McKeever has an awesome collection of books that we read, and then do a project on each one. We talk about different perspectives and putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, to see things from their point of view. It’s important to have diversity—life would be boring without it!

Exploring Identity through Team Time
Abby Zwetchkenbaum

The DEI Coordinator is a newly formed volunteer role that started at the Lower School this year. We sat down with Abby Zwetchkenbaum, 5th Grade Language Arts Teacher, 5th Grade Team Lead, and DEI Coordinator, to hear about how this role is making an impact at Carroll.

How the Lower School Is Building Community - one Caught Ya! at a time
Michele Hales and Elizabeth Quansah

The Lower School’s values of ERIK (empathy, respect, inclusion, kindness) is a grounding way to concretely talk to students about the ways we should act in a community with one another. We introduce these values throughout the school year through books, videos, and engaging activities that help define what each value means, and what it looks like in action.

Evolving Our Professional Development to Meet Today's - and Tomorrow's - Needs
Alissa Benway

As the Assistant Division Head for the Middle School, I’m involved in developing and providing pedagogy courses at Carroll. The Carroll courses started as a way to train staff to be successful teachers at Carroll. It’s important that these courses continue to evolve each year, and that we remain committed to improving the content to meet the needs of our educators and our students.

How our 6th and 7th Graders Worked Together to Accomplish Team Challenges
Emma Creeden

Every grade at Carroll forms a really nice community amongst themselves, but I had noticed there was not a lot of interaction between our grades. We have so much wonderful space on campus, and the ability to adjust our schedules to create time for meaningful activities and pursuits to educate the whole child—and I saw an opportunity. That’s how the HAWKS Nest project came to be.

Taking Orton-Gillingham to the Next Level to Fulfill Our Mission
Joanne Nimmo and Jenny Talentino

Carroll educators are constantly assessing and considering new approaches and strategies to ensure we fulfill our mission to give each student what they need to succeed academically. This rings true even at the core of Carroll’s academic program—Orton-Gillingham tutoring.

Integrating Diversity into Orton-Gillingham Tutoring
Sarah Napier

Carroll’s diversity and inclusion work is deeply important to me, both in my work as an educator, and personally. When I began working at Carroll five years ago, the school was just beginning DEI training with faculty. Recently, the Middle School has moved towards integrating that work in the classroom with the Foundations for Brave Conversations curriculum. As an advisor and homeroom teacher leading these conversations, it inspired me to think about how to incorporate more diverse books into my tutorials.

Will Close ‘11 on Activating Learning in Bounders
David Johnson

Carroll alum Will Close ’11, recently shared with me that “Multis”—the arts, physical education, outdoor education programs at Carroll—helped set him on a path to become a lifelong learner. It wasn’t just writing papers or doing projects in our classrooms that activated his learning. Rather, he discovered his love of education in the Bounders Woods, in the Arts & Innovation Center, in the gym, and on the rock wall.